Let me start with what I mean about “yes” people. If you were following me back in the day, you may have already read the blog post about “yes” friends. (Give it a read here – I reread it this morning and all of it still rings 100% true to me – in fact – I just referred to it last week!).
If you don’t feel like going elsewhere – here is what I mean. There are people in your life that will always have your back and 100% support you . . . but they will never call you out on your shit . . . ever. While they think they are being friendly, and while you may need some surface-level “atta girls,” if you only listen to these women in your life, chances are you are developing some blind spots. I lovingly call these friends “yes” friends, but I am encouraging you to go deeper.
Because your quality of life and relationships depends upon it.
(Note – I chose the image for this blog on purpose. See all of those people cheering YES, but not really seeing a true YES in their eyes? It is a little cringy and a little fake. Is that who you want to be your backup squad?)
But with WHO you ask?
I know I am incredibly blessed that I have friends who (lovingly) call me out on my nonsense and can point out where I fumble. What is key here, however, is that they also equally love me despite my fumbling. In fact, they may even love my fumble, because they love me to my core. Their love for me does not lessen when I may not listen at first. They know I need a minute and then, together, we unpack the shit, grow ourselves, grow our friendship, and move on. What is also key, is that they pick me up and call me out mid-fumble so I don’t stay on the path that is not working. They catch me, help me re-direct, and walk with me until I am running down the right path again.
You may be saying, “Good for you, Wendy, but I want that too. How do I figure out WHO that is for me?”
Good news, I found a method from one of the “greats” to help you start to figure that out.
This morning I dove into Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead. I found her rubric to determine WHO in your life is worthy of going beyond the “yes friend.” I like it, because it makes you whittle down the list and forces you to get down and dirty in discovering that you don’t need to worry about every single person’s opinion (exhausting). Instead, you get to narrow it down to a select few (harder than it seems). That is how you figure out who you even WANT to be in your inner circle and get beyond the “yes” person.
Her request of us is to find those people who will give us feedback, who will let us connect with our vulnerability, who is not a “yes” friend, who is not an ass (my word, not hers), and who is a person of integrity.
This is what she suggests:
“Get a one-inch by one-inch piece of paper and write down the names of the people whose opinions of you matter. It needs to be small because it forces you to edit.”
Now that you have her rubric, I encourage you to do it. Take a minute, close your eyes, who pops into your mind? Once you have written down some names, go on to the next step of Brene’s exercise, can you fit them all on that 1×1?
If yes, great. On to the next step (I will get to that in a minute).
If not yet, I encourage you to think about the next step as a way to whittle down.
Next step: She encourages us to reach out to those folks on the 1X1 and say something along the lines of “I’m getting clear on whose opinions matter to me. Thank you for being one of those people. I’m grateful that you care enough to be honest and real with me.”
Go through that list you need to whittle down – are you ready to send each of those people that message? Are you scared to? If you are scared, I encourage you to unpack that. Have you figured out the why behind it? Or is it a resounding yes?
Once you have that 1×1, put it in your wallet. Refer to it when you are dealing with shit, when you know you need to be called out, when you need to hear that you are loved despite what you view to be your fatal flaws.
I am hopeful this post helps you (lovingly) go beyond being a “yes” friend to someone who needs it. Keep in mind, this is not permission to be judgy. Instead, it is a call to action to make sure you are asking your friend the questions she needs to ponder, answer, and reflect upon so she is living her best life.
If you still are having trouble figuring this out or need some help calling you on your nonsense with nothing but love, honest feedback, good intentions, and the desire to see you grow as a person, I can help you get unstuck there. Coaching is SO many things, but at its heart is this: it is me helping you with unbiased, forgiving, growing, personal growth, and love to get you to a place better than where you are now. This looks different for everyone. I do not have a cookie-cutter approach. My goal for you is to help you grow and my goal for me is to do the honor of walking with you down your individual path and be more than your “yes” person.
If you are ready to book a call with me and see what this looks like, let’s slow down, take some time to get to know one another, and see where I can help. Book a call with me here: https://calendly.com/wendy-lawfullylean/introductory-call.
Excellent post. Thank you for reminding us of this great advice!
Great post! We all need those friends who hold the mirror up to us and ask us to consider the tough questions. Like you said, they don’t pass judgment but ask the questions that help you consider your thinking and perspective at a deeper level that. An help is to grow. Love what you said about blind spots. If we are only surrounded by yes friends, we will never challenge our own beliefs and continue to grow across our lifetime.
Absolutely 100% true! Great post and I am so grateful to have those people in my life right now!