Recently I received an email from a friend via Facebook.
Actually, this person qualifies as a Facebook friend – one of those people you met briefly and who is now part of your Facebook network, even though you don’t know the person very well.
My Facebook friend was someone who I met on a tour in Budapest a few years ago. In the intervening time, we’ve had very little contact.
Her email was the type that you send to everyone you know. A fishing expedition of sorts. She was seeking donations for an upcoming fundraiser in which she’s participating.
Given our limited connection, you might assume that I said “no” or perhaps ignored her request.
And you’d be completely wrong! Of course I made a donation!
Saying no would have violated a simple rule that I try to live my life by.
When someone asks me for help, I do my best to respond in the affirmative.
Why I Say Yes
There have been several times in my life where I’ve reached out to family and friends for support for something that mattered to me.
And in response, I’ve always received at least some support. And sometimes I’ve received lots of it.
At the same time, the number of family and friends who failed to respond, who simply ignored my request, has always been much greater than the number who responded positively.
Leaving me to wonder why.
Did the person not receive my message? Was our relationship not as important to them as I had thought? Did I catch them at a bad time?
I don’t want to be that sort of person. I don’t want to leave others wondering what happened, wondering why I didn’t respond.
I want to be the type of person who says yes, no matter how well I know the other person.
Let me give you four reasons for saying yes the next time someone asks for your help.
1. Saying Yes Feels Good
Let’s be honest, giving to others feels good!
Of course, it doesn’t have to be money. We can say yes to others in lots of ways – for example, giving our time, giving words of encouragement, or giving a hug.
2. Saying Yes Builds Connection
Once I filled out the donation form and clicked the button, I immediately felt a stronger connection with my friend. We’ve since exchanged several messages over Facebook, furthering the connection.
I didn’t have to make a donation but I’m glad I did.
Before my friend was just a “Facebook friend”. Now, I feel that we have a stronger link, a stronger connection, a connection that we can build on in the future.
3. Saying Yes Builds Reciprocity
I don’t say yes to other people’s requests because I want to or expect them to help me out in the future. And yet, the more we say yes to others’ requests, the more likely they’ll be willing to say yes to ours in the future.
4. Saying Yes Tells Someone They Matter
For me, this is the most important reason to say yes to other people.
The message I’m sending them is “yes you matter to me and what’s important to you is also important to me”.
Saying Yes By Saying No
Of course, having the intention of saying yes doesn’t mean you have to say yes to every request you receive.
Some will be unreasonable. Others you simply won’t be able to fulfill, for one reason or another.
If you can’t fulfill someone’s request, you can still let them that you’ve received their request, that you can’t fulfill it right now, but that perhaps some time in the future you’ll be able to help them.
In that way, you are still saying yes! You’re saying yes to the relationship and telling the person they matter to you.
In the end, what could be better than that!