Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Let your "Yes" be yes and "No", no!

Is their anybody out there that is willing to just say what's on their mind anymore? Is it asking to much to expect people to be genuine? Really, I'm not asking for anybody to divulge their deepest secrets, all I'm asking for is a modicum of integrity. Does the word "Character" mean anything to anyone anymore? I don't think people believe it's okay to operate through manipulation, deceit and other untruthful manners, but I do believe they think it's okay to walk in the grey area of dishonesty. Even a little white lie will taint a barrel of truths.

Here is a novel idea right out of the good book (The Holy Bible), let your "Yes" be yes and your "No," no. I'll bet this sounds like a simple concept doesn't it? Well, as simple as this idea may seem, I know of only a hand full of people that truly understand it and try to live by it.

Everything in our current society works against this ideology. As the lines of honesty and integrity disintegrate so does our society. If people could learn to live by this simple yet seemingly impossible principle of let your "Yes" be yes and"No" no, the world would be.... well.... better, easier, nicer, less confusing, kinder and more. So, why is it so darn hard for people to do it?

Now, some of you are probably making the mistake of thinking that I'm strictly talking about telling the truth in life. Their is more to truth than not lying. before we can go any further we will have to clarify the true definition of some words we like to use instead of yes or no.

The first word I'd like to look at is "Maybe". Maybe meaning, possibly or perhaps. It does not mean "I don't want to say no to this person, so I'll say maybe and then back at at a later date". Next words to be clarify are, "We will see", again this means possibly or perhaps, not to be confused with, "I hate confrontation, so I'll tell the person asking what I think they want to hear and then back out at a later date".

There's a whole plethora of statements that are commonly misused in our vocabularies. Here are just a few examples of things people say to avoid yes or no. "I'll think about it", "Sounds like something I'd be interested in", "Let me get back to you on this". Okay, so none of those statements are bad or wrong as long as they are genuine (truthful), it's when they are used in the place of yes or no that becomes the problem. If you have commitment issues and you are not willing to say yes or no then say "I can not make a commitment to what you're asking right now".

Here is where the problems lies (no pun intend). First, passive aggressive behavior has somehow found favor in society over directness. It is masking itself as a polite way of communicating, but in actuality it is anything but polite. I find passive aggressive behavior to be dishonest, manipulative and controlling and condescending in it's nature. In my book it is just plain rude. Just because someone says something in a nice way doesn't mean that it's polite or pure in it's intent. With that being said, being direct with someone doesn't have to be unpleasant either. I choose direct over passive aggressive any day, at least there is no confusion in what the person is saying. Alright, let me be direct about how I feel about passive aggressive behavior, I hate it.

The next thing that I believe interferes with letting "Yes" be yes and "No" no, is the fear that people have of confrontation. So you don't agree with someone's ideas and/or you you don't want to do something someone asks you to do, this doesn't make you confrontational. Even if you tell them you don't agree with them or that you don't want to do what they are asking you to do, still this doesn't make you confrontational. Being hostile or argumentative, creating conflict or clashing with another party, now that makes you confrontational. So, rest at ease when you say what's on your mind as long as it is the truth and delivered in a direct and thoughtful manner you are not being confrontational. Here is another direct statement you may or may not agree with, life is full of confrontations,going through life avoiding confrontation is cowardice and self defeating.

Lastly, some people live under the guise that they are being kind when they are not direct with someone. They believe they are being loving when they tell people what they think they want to hear instead of the truth. They think the right way to handle people is to letting them down later instead of just speaking the truth right then. I believe telling someone the truth in a direct manner with kindness and love shows the proper respect everyone deserve. The next time you have the opportunity to just say "Yes" or "No", try it out. As a matter of fact if you make it a policy to operate by this standard you will be amazed how your life will change for the better.

This is the underdrawing for a piece that went on a video box. It was a documentary about this family of hemophiliacs that contracted AIDS. There community ostracized them and tried to run them out. Very sad story.

This is digital over water color.

If you are afraid of clowns this is not the page of drawings for you.


  1. This is exactly why I never ask, "Do I look fat in these jeans?"

  2. Sick of the Manipulation!May 26, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    A few weeks ago I got an email from a mom asking if some of the girls in my Girl Scout troop would be interested in helping with an award ceremony for her troop. I replied right away that I would let her know because it fell on the same night as another commitment.

    The other day she sent me an email that said something like, “I saw Sarah at drop off and she asked if I got your email. I did not.” So I replied that Sarah was probably excited about helping her troop and that she could count on our help. When Sarah got home from school I asked her about the scenario. I only asked her because I was happy that she was so excited that she talked to this mom about it on her own. Sarah said she did not see the mom, did not talk to anyone at drop-off and had not talked to this mom, at all.

    So, basically, because I had not answered this mom in a timely fashion, she made up a scenario to get me to respond. I was manipulated! I am so mad that she got the exact response she wanted by manipulating me. I will never understand this kind of thnking. Why didn’t she send an email asking me if I had come to a conclusion? THIS is what people do here, they try to manipulate the situation with dishonest tactics and everyone finds it completely acceptable; they have gotten used to the manipulation to the point that its become status-quo.

  3. Craig did the kid portraits straight out of art school. He's so talented!!

  4. great post, and amazing art work on your blog