How You Can Improve Your Happiness By Saying ‘Yes’ More

Personally, I know the feeling all too well when someone asks you to do something social and your brain instantly hits back with an “absolutely not” before you’ve even had time to consider whether you actually want to go or not. The sound of going out with your friends and family, occasionally, can seem like just too much. My excuses can range from “I’m too tired” to “I have two essays due, five exams, I’m in a bad mood and my foot hurts”.

Of course, at times, its perfectly reasonable to want some ‘me’ time or even to just prefer the idea of staying in bed and watching a film. While that remains the case, it’s important to remember that sometimes you just have to push yourself. A simple shrugging off of one event can easily turn into a recurring pattern, which can spiral into you feeling distanced and left out, and you’ll eventually find it too underwhelming to attend anything because it’s been so long since you said yes.

This may seem like a dramatic thing to say, but I’ve experienced it myself. I am definitely guilty of using absolutely any excuse to avoid a night out if I think I won’t enjoy it or there are some new people coming who I haven’t met before. Unfortunately, over the years it’s occasionally led to me saying no to things that I actually would like to do, but because I’m so used to saying no for fear of what might happen, saying yes seems impossible.

At times, saying ‘yes’ can seem like the hardest thing to do and there may be the odd offer to go somewhere which really doesn’t interest you. In these times, recently, I’ve found it really useful to sit back and take the time to think about things before impulsively making an excuse. Good questions to ask are “What do I actually have to lose by going to this?”, “Am I going to feel left out and excluded if I don’t go?”. “Why is it that I don’t want to go and is that a rational reason?”.

The truth is, saying yes is such a simple yet massively effective way of improving your quality of life. The prospect of going to an expensive gig you’re not interested in or going to a new night out doesn’t have to be negative. You may not be interested, but even if you don’t have a great time, you can make memories with your friends and actually laugh about the tragic things you’ve been to over the years, rather than sitting there awkwardly while everyone talks about the thing you missed out on.

You might find that you develop new interests, meet new people and try new things. Really, what has anyone ever gained from saying no? Part of life is doing things which make you uncomfortable, so you can grow as a person. Anyway, you’re never going to sit back and fondly remember the time when you stayed home alone and watched mean girls for the fifteenth time rather than going out with your friends. So, just say yes!

Edited by Angelica Beier