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Be Careful Of How Much You Say ‘Yes’ During Interaction: It’s A Brainwashing Technique

Many organizational management and leadership writers – the ones who are fresh out of ideas (i.e. – regurgitating the same old boring ideas over and over again), will tell you that saying ‘yes’ too frequently will result in over-commitment, occupational burnout, and reduce feelings of individual positivity toward relationships and the task at hand. If you want to talk about that kind of ‘yes’ behavior, go visit some futile website that may or may not be associated with an Ivy League School.

                If you want to read about new ideas (ones laced with originality) and fresh perspectives stick around for here for awhile, read on and breathe in a bouquet of originality.

                So, what kind of ‘yes’ behavior are we talking about here? To get those big ears perked up out there, we need to focus on a conversation between two people.  Basically it goes like this; one person asks a thoughtful question and the other person responds politely ‘yes’. The same person asks another thoughtful question and the other person calmly replies – ‘yes’. One more time, the same person asks a thoughtful question and the other person smoothly and without emotion responds – ‘yes’. Each time the yes response is uttered to the question, the tone is unwavering, crisp, and perfectly clear.

                Sounds like a positive interactive exchange, right? In a sense, yes. It feels good to have someone say ‘yes’ to you all the time. Yes means yes. It’s an affirmative  and it indicates acceptance, not rejection. At the same time, when said too many times during conversation, it can also easily be chalked up as a cleverly contrived interactive brainwashing technique – one that is designed to lull you into a dreamy and hallucinogenic state of mind where there are no no’s and the whole world welcomes you with wide and open arms (i.e. – the individual wants you to feel accepted all the time as if there will never be any problems and nothing will ever go wrong). Yes, that’s backwards and hilarious, is it not?

                The point is this: be mindful of a person who keeps on saying yes to you all the time. And, be very aware of ‘how’ the person delivers the ‘yes’. If it always sounds calm, soothing, and unconditionally positive, you got a manipulator on your hands. In other words, you got a person who is trying to access a clinical part of your mind (i.e. – the individual perceives that you have been said ‘no’ to a lot or been rejected a lot in an intimate relationship (s) or by your parents). If you are O.K. with such a person burrowing into the depths of your psyche with ‘yes’s’, by all means, let them burrow and shower you with yes’s. If, however, you become severely agitated by this kind of patronizing mind-warping technique, politely ask the person to stop massaging your brain with an entourage of yes’s – it’s just boils down to bad business anyway.

                Can I fly a commercial plane? No. Will I fly to the moon and pick up moon rocks in my lifetime? No. Am I good at advanced calculus? Heck no. Do parts of this writing sound arrogant? Heck yes. Did I have the intention of sounding arrogant as I wrote? Yes and no.

                 Do you ever feel like one person in particular always says ‘yes’ to you? How did it make you feel? Have you already considered this reality?

Matthew Polkinghorne

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