E126: Just Say YES
Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:05):
Where we share personal experiences so we can learn from each other. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:08):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:09):
I've been in recovery for 16 years and am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about what's done in the darkness eventually comes to light.
Beth Demme (00:16):
I'm a lawyer turned pastor who's all about self-awareness and emotional health because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Beth and I have been friends for years, have gone through recovery programs together, and when I wanted to start a podcast, she was the only name that came to mind as co-host.
Beth Demme (00:29):
I didn't hesitate to say yes, because I've learned a lot from sharing personal experiences with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
We value honest conversations, and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:37):
On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, "Just say yes." Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection. We'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:48):
So, Beth, this is your episode. This is something-
Beth Demme (00:53):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:54):
Yes. This is something that you have said about yourself many times, that you are a "yes" person, in quotation marks if you didn't hear that. That's what I did in real life. What does that mean to you to be a "yes" person?
Beth Demme (01:07):
So I have trained myself to have yes as my first response. When my kids were little, I struggled in a lot of ways as a mom, but I noticed that every time they would ask for something, my knee-jerk reaction was to say no, and I didn't like that. I didn't like being that mom. And I didn't think it was fair to them. So I just adjusted my mindset, so when they would come, instead of starting from a place of no, I would start from a place of yes.
Beth Demme (01:40):
This is a really silly example but like, "Can we go to the park today?" Instead of being like, "No, I'm way too busy for that," or, "No, we have too many errands run." It's like, "Yes, let me figure out how we can work that in." It's just kind of a slight shift in ... what might sound like a slight shift in mindset, but actually produces some pretty big changes.
Beth Demme (01:59):
I describe myself as a "yes" person because my first reaction when I'm asked to do something is to say yes, and that's true even now that my kids are grown, sort of.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:11):
Would it work for anything? So if they're like, "Mom, can I have ice cream before dinner?"
Beth Demme (02:16):
If that happened once a year or twice a year, I'd probably be like, "Okay," I would probably say yes to that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:23):
Did they ever take advantage of that though?
Beth Demme (02:25):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:25):
I feel like that's pretty "kid," is if you say yes to something, that they're going to keep asking and you're going to keep saying yes, no?
Beth Demme (02:33):
Yeah, that wasn't my experience.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:34):
Beth Demme (02:34):
I never felt like they were doing that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:35):
Beth Demme (02:36):
Yeah. And I know that there's that movie out now about Yes Day?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:40):
Beth Demme (02:40):
Or maybe ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:41):
I think it was a book.
Beth Demme (02:42):
I was going to say, did you tell me it was a book?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:44):
I've never read it, but ...
Beth Demme (02:45):
I haven't read the book, but we did watch the movie and I thought that was kind of silly.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:49):
Beth Demme (02:49):
We never did that. We never had a day where I wasn't allowed to say no.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:53):
Beth Demme (02:53):
I'm still the parent, so it was always up to me. If they asked to do something where they would hurt themselves, of course I would say no. It's not that, it's just that place that I'm coming from. Am I coming from a place of wanting to hear what they want and wanting to see if it's reasonable and appropriate, and if it can happen? Or if my knee jerk reaction is just, "No. Everything you ask me for is inconvenient."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:18):
Yeah. Well, because it is. Everything is inconvenient when you're an adult and there's kids and they want to have fun and you want to do the things you have to do.
Beth Demme (03:27):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:27):
So yeah. I get that.
Beth Demme (03:31):
Are you a "yes" person?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:34):
I would never describe myself as a "yes" person. Which is why it's so interesting, because I didn't know that you were a "yes" person. I think it would've made it way easier when I asked you about being on the podcast if I knew that you were an easy yes.
Beth Demme (03:47):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:48):
But it wasn't until a year after we started the podcast that I learned that you were an easy yes. So then I was like, oh, that would've made it easier. But then also I was like, wait, did she just say yes and didn't really want to do this? Which is why this podcast will go on forever because you'll never say, "No, I'm done."
Beth Demme (04:03):
Maybe it depends on how you phrase the question.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:06):
You're like, "Mm, you're not wrong." That's true. I would never describe myself as a "yes" person because if I'm committing to something, if I'm saying yes to something, then I want to have thought it through and make sure that I am committed to the thing. Which is kind of interesting, as you were talking, you were saying that you say yes and then you figure it out later. And I'm the opposite: I figure it out before I say yes. And I think that comes from maybe just, I don't know, who I am.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:36):
I don't feel like I've ever had a problem saying no. Actually, when we were planning this, I thought of an example that probably most people wouldn't say no to. But I had some really good friends in high school and everyone in their 20s, like boom, boom, bam got married. And luckily, most of my friends had a wedding that was really small and they didn't invite everyone and that was great, because I personally don't love weddings. I don't know if we've talked about that. But if you know me, you know I don't like weddings.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:09):
I don't like doing something because this is what we always do. That's just not my thing. But hey, to all the people married out there, good job, beautiful wedding.
Beth Demme (05:18):
I love weddings enough for both of us.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:20):
I believe it. I believe you love weddings. I had a friend that was having a big wedding and invited me to be a bridesmaid. And I said, "Thank you so much for the invite. No."
Beth Demme (05:30):
Yeah. I can't ... I would never say no to somebody about ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:33):
But you like weddings.
Beth Demme (05:35):
I love weddings, and I love being in groups of people, and I love celebrating.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:39):
I don't like weddings. I don't like being around a lot of people. I don't like just doing something because this is how we've always done it. And I don't like to just stand around and party without some activity. Like a bounce house or something, I love that. But like an activity, there's no activity. You just are there.
Beth Demme (05:56):
The activity is that you're part of the ceremony.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:59):
Beth Demme (05:59):
You're there to witness it. And then you share a meal together and then you dance some.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:05):
It's just bringing me back to why I don't like weddings.
Beth Demme (06:08):
But also in that example, it was something that you could have done for your friend.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:15):
Well, I will say, some of the people said yes and were in the wedding. And I'm not going to speak for them, but I will just say after the wedding in seeing their experiences, I knew a thousand percent that I made the right choice at not being in the wedding. It wasn't that I didn't want to be there for my friend, but I also knew my friend, and I knew how that wedding might turn out, and how ... I'll do stuff I don't like or don't want to do because it would be the best thing for that person. I definitely do that. There's things that I've done. I have.
Beth Demme (06:53):
For sure, for sure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:53):
But I just knew that this was not going to be the time commitment I want, where I wanted to spend my time. I knew this was ... There was a lot of things involved with it, and now looking back, I'm really glad I made that choice. But my point is, is I really get annoyed when somebody says yes to me for something, and then later on they say no. So that's why I'm very mindful when someone asks me to do something. I would much rather tell you no at the beginning than tell you yes, and then realize later, I don't want to do it and finally tell you that, because that really annoys me when people do that to me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:29):
As much as it sounds really harsh that I said no about being in her wedding, I think that's so much more respectful to say that up front than have her think I'm going to be in the wedding, and then later on, be like, "Ah, no, I don't want to do this."
Beth Demme (07:42):
Yeah, or to have done it, but have done it not in a spirit of like-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:46):
Beth Demme (07:46):
I'm here ... You know? Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:47):
Because she easily found someone to replace me.
Beth Demme (07:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:50):
It wasn't like she only had this many people. She easily had a replacement, no problem. So it was like, why not allow someone else that would enjoy this than me do it, because I feel like I have to?
Beth Demme (08:03):
I do think that's a good point. To just do something out of obligation, ultimately, is not in anyone's best interest, probably. And also, the idea that by you being clear with your no, it gave the opportunity for someone else to say yes who could really mean yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:22):
Yeah, exactly. I'm wondering though, because I really think out my yeses ... I can't think of an example that I said yes to and then later said no to, because I maybe overthink. But are there things that you've said yes to that you, after a couple weeks or something, you realize, oh, I don't want to do this, and then you said no?
Beth Demme (08:43):
There have definitely been things that I said yes to knowing that I didn't want to say yes, and then had to grit my teeth all the way through it, because I didn't want to not fulfill the commitment. I will say I am, despite what you might think about me saying yes to the podcast, I'm not as apt to say yes anymore if it's a multi-week commitment or a year long commitment or something. I am very thoughtful about those things.
Beth Demme (09:14):
But if somebody says, "Hey, do you want to have coffee?" I'll be like, "Yeah, let's figure out a time."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:19):
But what if it's a person that you don't want to have coffee with? Could there be a person that would happen with?
Beth Demme (09:24):
Yeah, I would still have coffee with them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:25):
Beth Demme (09:25):
Now, I might not have coffee with them over and over again, but ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:29):
Well, what if you had coffee, you didn't like it, and then they asked again? What would you say?
Beth Demme (09:33):
I think I wouldn't continue to say yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:35):
But what would you say? What would be your reasoning? Or what would you say?
Beth Demme (09:38):
No. I would probably say something like, "Oh, my calendar is crazy for the next few weeks. I'll get back to you."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:46):
Beth Demme (09:47):
Which, by the way, is true.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:48):
You've said that to me before. Wait a minute. No.
Beth Demme (09:50):
My calendar is always crazy because I say yes, so I do have a lot of things on my calendar. But I do like it that way. I'm not complaining.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:00):
Beth Demme (10:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:02):
When people ask me, "Are you busy?" Or, "What are you doing today?" Or something, it's like, I always have something to do. But if it's something that I want to do or need to do, then I always can make room for it. Which is very cool, because you always make room for me and the podcast, so I do appreciate that.
Beth Demme (10:21):
And so do you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:21):
Well, because it matters to me.
Beth Demme (10:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:24):
And I think there's value there. Yeah.
Beth Demme (10:26):
Well, I just want to say, I did say yes one time to ... It was a very long commitment. Well, it was a nine month commitment. I was going to a Bible study, and they were like, "Okay, well we need more people to work childcare for the Bible study. So will you, instead of coming one day a week, will you come two days a week? And you can be part of the leaders' Bible study on Tuesday." I think it was Tuesday. Maybe it was Monday. Anyway. "On one day. And then the next day, you would come and you would just help out in childcare." And I did not want to do that. And I really felt like ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:04):
Did you say yes?
Beth Demme (11:05):
I felt like I was supposed to say yes, so I said yes. So for a whole school year, so nine months, I was a volunteer. I feel like I was volun-told. But I was a volunteer in childcare. And I thought, I don't want to do this, but maybe this is an opportunity God is giving me for me to stretch myself or learn something new about myself.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:30):
Oh, the God card.
Beth Demme (11:31):
Yeah. All I learned is that I should not work in church nurseries for extended periods of time. You need me for an hour or something, okay. But I'm not your ... That's not my gift.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:44):
Beth Demme (11:45):
There are some people who ... I can think of some people off the top of my head who are so great with other people's kids. Not me. I'm not one of those.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:53):
That reminds me when I was a youth and I worked at the church that we both went to. There's a summer day camp and they needed fill-in counselors. So when somebody was out or something, they needed a fill-in. It wasn't a big commitment. But I was really good friends with the leader of the department, and she asked me ... And she knew I didn't like kids. She started out by saying, "I know you don't like kids, but I really need someone like you, that's your age, your commitment."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:23):
I was a good, responsible youth. And she's like, "It really won't be that bad." So I did it for her, and I absolutely hated it. Yeah, of course, I did, because it was kids and it was like, they're always sticky, and they smell, and they're loud. And they were pretty much, they weren't like babies. I definitely ... It wasn't babies, but they were just, they're just kids. I don't like kids. But I did it for her.
Beth Demme (12:49):
They were elementary schoolers.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:51):
Yeah. There's many times where I've said yes to something that I knew I wasn't going to like, but I did it because I was the right person for whatever it was, and/or I was committed to-
Beth Demme (13:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:02):
I liked the person that was involved.
Beth Demme (13:03):
I do think that as I've gotten older, it's become easier to say no. Really, it's never been hard to say no. I just don't want to always come from a place of no. But I think that as I've had more life experience, I know myself better.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:22):
Beth Demme (13:23):
So it's easier for me to know when my yes can be yes and when my no can be no. Now, if somebody asks me to help out for an extended period of time in a childcare program, I would be like, "I don't have the gifts for that. That's not me." Or another thing is, I'm not great at fundraising. I don't like asking people for money, even if it's a cause that I absolutely believe in, and that I know every dollar is going to be spent well. I'm just not good at that.
Beth Demme (13:52):
I've been asked a few times in the last couple of years to be on different fundraising boards. And it's like, "No, you need to find somebody who can really do this well, and that's not me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:03):
When someone asks you a question and your response is, you know you want to try to say yes. What goes through your mind when somebody is saying something? I'm starting: "Beth, would you like to?" Okay, what's going through your mind.
Beth Demme (14:16):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:18):
Are you thinking, yes, yes, yes, yes?
Beth Demme (14:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:22):
Beth Demme (14:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:23):
You just keep repeating yes to yourself?
Beth Demme (14:24):
No, I'm just ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:25):
Beth, would you like to be a part of an exciting new gym I'm starting?
Beth Demme (14:34):
Oh, you had me until the word "gym." Because I was like, it's new and it's exciting. So immediately, my FOMO kicks in, my fear of missing out because it's new and exciting, so I definitely want to be a part of that. But then at gym, I'm like, "Oh, no."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:49):
But are you one of those that, Beth, would you like to be a part of this new and exciting ...
Beth Demme (14:56):
Multi-level marketing opportunity?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:57):
Yes, that's what I was going to say. I was looking for one. I was like, how can I do it without being ... So Beth?
Beth Demme (15:04):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:05):
I have these really beautiful, cute leggings in my bag here, and they are so cool. They are so cute. You would love them. I have 200 of them and I'm so excited to be able to share them with the world. And I would love to see if you would like to buy some. Please buy some. I have some that have holes in them, but please buy them. Please. We'll patch them.
Beth Demme (15:29):
Yes, I will buy from you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:30):
Oh my gosh, you will?
Beth Demme (15:31):
No, I will not help you sell them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:33):
But you would buy?
Beth Demme (15:34):
But I would buy, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:35):
Did you buy some of those?
Beth Demme (15:36):
I did not, because ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:38):
You didn't know anyone that was selling them?
Beth Demme (15:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:40):
Beth Demme (15:43):
But my rule for my daughter at the time was that leggings aren't pants.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:46):
Beth Demme (15:47):
So I ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:48):
Are they not the rule anymore? They're now pants?
Beth Demme (15:51):
She does what she wants.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:52):
Oh, okay. You didn't want them?
Beth Demme (15:54):
No. And I just knew that look was not going to be good on me. Cross my heart, friends, most of you ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:02):
I will ...
Beth Demme (16:02):
Most of you might have wanted to think that through a little bit more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:05):
I will personally say, yeah, I am not a leggings person at all.
Beth Demme (16:09):
I never wanted to take on any kind of multilevel marketing or at-some sales thing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:14):
Well, it makes sense. You said that you don't like sales.
Beth Demme (16:15):
Because I don't like sales. I don't like sales. I'm not a salesperson.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:17):
Yeah. Me either.
Beth Demme (16:19):
But I sure did buy a lot of it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:20):
Beth Demme (16:21):
Oh, yeah. And I mean a lot of it's really good. It's not like it's all bad.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:26):
What's some of your favorite MML?
Beth Demme (16:28):
I have some ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:29):
Multilevel, yeah. MLM.
Beth Demme (16:31):
Yeah. I have some beautiful bags from ... Do we want to say the company?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:36):
Beth Demme (16:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:37):
Okay. They're the greatest.
Beth Demme (16:39):
Some great bags.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:40):
Never been to one of those. Actually, I try to avoid all of those parties, as you could probably imagine.
Beth Demme (16:45):
And I have some jewelry that I bought years ago at some jewelry parties that I still really love, still wear.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:51):
Okay. Pampered Chef?
Beth Demme (16:53):
Oh my gosh, I have so much Pampered Chef.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:54):
Of course, you do.
Beth Demme (16:56):
I've been to so many Pampered Chef parties.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:58):
You like parties too.
Beth Demme (16:59):
I love parties.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:59):
It's really like, I can see where you have a ton of this stuff because you love parties.
Beth Demme (17:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:04):
And that's how they get you. Party.
Beth Demme (17:06):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:06):
Beth Demme (17:07):
I used to buy all my skincare through somebody who was selling it through parties.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:12):
Yeah? What do you think drives your yes, your need to say yes to everything? We know where it started, why you adopted that personality trait, I don't know, but why do you have this desire to say yes?
Beth Demme (17:29):
Well, I do have a fear of missing out, so I like to say yes because I don't like to miss out on things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:33):
Beth Demme (17:34):
And maybe it's related to being an extrovert.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:39):
Beth Demme (17:40):
That could be part of it. I also know that I have a tendency to be a people pleaser, and that definitely comes into play with the yes, that it can be hard to tell people no. I don't think that's how it started.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:55):
Beth Demme (17:55):
I think my recollection of this is that it was an intentional choice. But I do think that for somebody like me with a tendency to be a people pleaser, that I can get myself into tough spots sometimes by just saying yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:13):
Can you think of an example?
Beth Demme (18:15):
Well, the childcare thing. That was really uncomfortable for many, many months. And saying yes to that meant that I had to say no to a lot of things and I didn't really think about that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:25):
Beth Demme (18:25):
And also then, just the emotional energy of doing something week in and week out that I did not want to do was really hard. There were good things that came out of it, too. But overall, it would've been better if I had just said no from the beginning. And also, time is such a limited resource that I have learned that every yes is also a no, because they are only so many hours in the day, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:50):
Beth Demme (18:51):
So if I say yes to doing something, then that means I'm not going to have that time available to do something else. And that has created some conflicts. Enough conflict that I can think of multiple times when Stephen and I have had that conversation, when he's been like, "Well, you know that every yes is a no, right?" And I go, "Oh yeah, that's right." "When you said yes to this, now we can't do this." It's like, "Oh right."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:17):
Do you think your family suffers when you say yes to things?
Beth Demme (19:21):
I don't think so. I think everything works out, and I think I'm usually able to make everything work out. But the reality is that there just are limited hours in the day. So sometimes, I'm doing something else, so then I don't get to do whatever my family wants to do. Like this week, everybody else in my family had dinner together on Tuesday night, but I didn't because I had a meeting to go to. Now, that meeting was part of my job.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:45):
Beth Demme (19:45):
But again, my job is something I say yes to. I guess I don't have to work, but. No, I don't have to work, but I choose to work.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:54):
Yeah, yeah, that's a choice.
Beth Demme (19:55):
So then, that's a choice.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:55):
Beth Demme (19:55):
Yeah. I said yes to God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:58):
Oh, God. Doesn't God talk about yes and no in the Bible? Isn't that a big thing?
Beth Demme (20:03):
Yeah. I looked it up thinking we would probably get to that today. It's Matthew 5:37. Jesus says, "Let your yes be yes and your no be no."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:11):
Does that mean that when you say yes to something, but then later you say no, does that mean you're sinning?
Beth Demme (20:18):
I don't think so.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:19):
Well, what is sin?
Beth Demme (20:21):
Sin is anything that separates me from God or makes me feel separate from God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:25):
So it could be a sin in your life.
Beth Demme (20:29):
Yeah. It could be. I can't think of very many times when I have said yes and then had to circle back and say, actually, no. There have been times when I have said yes and then schedule wise, it didn't work out or whatever. That was not really me changing my mind, it was just, it literally didn't work in the schedule.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:49):
Or you just tried to rearrange. If you said yes to ... There's been times where we've planned something, but then the schedule didn't work out, so we just moved it.
Beth Demme (20:58):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:58):
So it wasn't that you then said no.
Beth Demme (21:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:02):
We actually had a guest once that said yes to being on the podcast.
Beth Demme (21:06):
We did. I forgot about that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:07):
And then later on said no.
Beth Demme (21:08):
And then later said no.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:09):
Beth Demme (21:09):
I haven't thought about that. I guess that person might be a "yes" person too. I hadn't thought about it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:13):
Yeah. But that really ... We both know this person and we both have different opinions of this person. I was all for having them on the podcast, even though my opinion was waning on this person. And then when they said no, that really cemented it, like, okay. Because that really bothers me. That's a big pet peeve of mine if somebody says yes and then says no. Tell me no from the very beginning.
Beth Demme (21:38):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:39):
And I think it's worse to say no later.
Beth Demme (21:41):
Yeah, I get that. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:43):
And I know you were saying that you think that maybe you convince them, like over convince them to be on it and that's why they said no later. But it doesn't matter how much somebody convinces you. You're your own person.
Beth Demme (21:56):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:57):
You make your own choices.
Beth Demme (21:58):
Right. Only one person said yes and no to us, so far.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:02):
So far. Yeah. Everyone else has said yes and been on.
Beth Demme (22:05):
Right. There was a woman at that church that we reference so often who was trying to recruit volunteers to help. And I remember, we were doing a pictorial directory and she needed volunteers to check people in and help them get set up to have their picture taken.
Beth Demme (22:23):
And she was really struggling to get people to do it. And she was very frustrated that it was so hard to get people to volunteer. She came to me with that. "This is so hard. I'm really struggling to get people. Can you do it? Will you do it please?" And I just kind of went, "Ugh," because I didn't want to do it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:41):
Beth Demme (22:42):
And I was exhausted by a bunch of different things, and I knew that adding something else on my schedule was not the right thing to do. So I just kind of, "Ugh." And she said, "You know what? If you don't want to do it, I can work with a no."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:53):
Beth Demme (22:54):
I've carried that with me. I can work with a no. It's okay to say no to me. It's better to say no to me than waste my time making me think that I'm going to get you to say yes. I think that what you're saying is totally reasonable and understandable, like let your yes be yes. Particularly if somebody's then going to rely on you or make plans based on it or plan based on you having said yes. So yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:17):
So Beth, being a "yes" person, do you think more people need to say yes to things?
Beth Demme (23:22):
If I'm asking, then yes. They always need to say yes to me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:29):
I don't think I've ever said no to you, but I feel like you've never asked me anything that I wouldn't want to do.
Beth Demme (23:35):
I did ask you one time to do something that I didn't think you wanted to do, and you did say yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:41):
Oh, but I ... Wait, what?
Beth Demme (23:43):
And you did it. No, you came and you did. It was when I was at the church before the one I'm at now, and I was like, "We really need help with our system, our sound system, our video system."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:51):
Oh, yeah. I did it because you asked.
Beth Demme (23:52):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:53):
I'll pretty much do anything for my close friends. If you ask me for something, if it's something you really need, I'll totally do it. But I think you also ... Did you ask me to do yoga at your church? I don't even know if you-
Beth Demme (24:04):
I probably invited you to yoga, but I wasn't like ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:07):
Beth Demme (24:07):
"Will you please come do this?" I was like, "Hey, we're doing yoga if you want to come."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:09):
Well, my new great excuse, because it is legit still, is COVID.
Beth Demme (24:14):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:16):
That also puts a huge wrench in this, because things I would've said yes to before, I don't now. Just something as simple as, "Hey, you want to have lunch?" I do, but I want to eat outside, and it's 100 degrees, and I know you don't want to do that, so I'm just going to say no for now.
Beth Demme (24:33):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:34):
So yeah, it does make things more complicated. And there's people I've been wanting to see and spend time with, but it's just too complicated. For me specifically, I'm still being cautious as we are still in the high range for COVID in our county.
Beth Demme (24:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:49):
I just looked yesterday and it still says high.
Beth Demme (24:52):
Yes. And the CDC just changed all the guidelines again.
Beth Demme (24:56):
I think you're really good about getting details, right? Getting information before you say yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:03):
Beth Demme (25:04):
I don't perceive you to be a knee-jerk no person. It's not like, no, I'm just going to say no to everything.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:09):
Beth Demme (25:10):
It's not that. It's like, well, let me ask some questions, right? So if ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:15):
I like context.
Beth Demme (25:16):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:16):
I like to know exactly what I'm committing to before I ... Like I'm an officer on my homeowner association board. And when I moved into my house, I think nine years ago now.
Beth Demme (25:29):
Really? Nine years already?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:30):
I think it's been nine years.
Beth Demme (25:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:31):
Yeah. I had always wanted to serve on a board. I thought when I bought my house, I might want to be a board member. I volunteered. And at first, I was just a member at large, so I didn't really have a role. And I really felt like, well then what's the point? Why am I here? But then, they needed a new treasurer, so I took over that and I've been the treasurer ever since. And I really like that, because I know what my role is. They need me. Because they had some people that didn't know technology before, and they weren't using online banking and all these things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:05):
I was able to come in and get them up to date with things. And I run it really easily now. And always, whenever I'm in any kind of role, I try to set it up for success for the next person. I keep notes of everything, and I made a list of the responsibilities. When I commit to something, I commit to it, and I want to leave it better than I found it kind of thing, which was not hard in this role.
Beth Demme (26:29):
Do you think that maybe the people who were in that role before you, or maybe other people who serve on that board just said yes, just because they didn't want to say no? Like it was hard to say no?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:39):
Yeah. And I think ... Well, I know it's really hard to find members for the board. So a lot of the members were on the board for a long time. They didn't want to be on it in the first place, and then they were on it way too long. I do it because it needs to be done, and I can do it, and it doesn't take a huge amount of time. I live in this neighborhood. I want it run well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:04):
That was a pretty easy yes. And every year, it's an easy yes to recommit to it. Although, during COVID was more of a challenge, but we made it work.
Beth Demme (27:16):
We mentioned that movie about ... that was a book apparently ... about there being a yes day for the kids where the parents can't say no. Would you ever do that with your niblings? Would you offer them a yes day? "Okay, Aunt Steph is only going to say yes today."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:29):
First of all, they call me Steffy.
Beth Demme (27:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:31):
Beth Demme (27:31):
Oh, I like that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:34):
Would I do that specifically? I kind of do. So we had them for the summer. And not intentionally, but then it happened, we pretty much had them all summer. And pretty much, it's their summer, their vacations. So it's like, what do you want to do? Yes. And we had movie night every night. And we had ice cream every day. We had Mickey pops. I don't know if you've ever had those from ... They sell them at Publix. It's like what you get in the park. Not as good as those, but they're really good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:00):
So we pretty much like, you want something? Yes. We pretty much did that without calling it a yes day. So yeah, I would say I do that with my niblings, for sure.
Beth Demme (28:11):
Yeah. That's part of being the fun aunt, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:13):
Beth Demme (28:13):
Is that you get to say yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:14):
But I think calling it a yes day and being so intentional about that, I think it just sets you ... In my opinion, I feel like it would just set you up for not success.
Beth Demme (28:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:23):
Because I think they would just get silly with it, and then it just ... So I don't know. I've never read the book, so I don't know the details of that. But to me, it just seems like not a great setup for kids.
Beth Demme (28:35):
Yeah, it could go south, I would say.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:36):
Yeah. And just get silly and possibly dangerous. Yeah. We pretty much do that without saying a yes day.
Beth Demme (28:43):
And what about for yourself? A yes day for yourself? Or is that just kind of how you live every day?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:49):
Yeah. That's kind of interesting, because I feel like that's how I try to live my life is to set myself up for the things that I love in life, and being able to do the things that I like to do. So yeah, I don't know if I would do a specific, like, "Today, I'm going to say yes to everything," or, "I'm going to do everything that just comes to my mind."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:12):
I think I just try to live my life that way. "I'm going to work on editing these videos right now so that I can go kayaking tomorrow.: Like yesterday, I went kayaking for four hours. Yes. Hello? I loved it. But I then knew I had to get stuff done when I got home. I always say yes to kayaking though.
Beth Demme (29:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:31):
If anyone ever ... No one asks me. I'm always the one asking that.
Beth Demme (29:35):
Well, when you're already kayaking so many days a week, it's like.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:38):
I know. How about you? Do you have a yes day for yourself?
Beth Demme (29:42):
I kind of feel like that's most days.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:44):
Beth Demme (29:46):
I don't feel like I'm often telling myself no. Honestly, it's something I think I've probably ... It's something I have been thinking I probably need to work on. I probably need to tell myself no more often, not yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:56):
Beth Demme (29:58):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:58):
Beth Demme (29:59):
Yeah. I don't think I'm very disciplined.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:02):
Yeah. I think I'm pretty disciplined.
Beth Demme (30:04):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:04):
Yeah. I don't know. I go back and forth at different times. I never think I've gotten anything. I'm never like, "Oh, I'm good. I'm great with this." Something that was this big thing when I worked at Apple was work/life balance, work/life balance. And it was like, I don't think I ever ... I think that's something you always work on is, is that balance?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:25):
I don't think you ever just ... I don't think I ever just got it perfect: This is the exact way to do it. But I've been working a lot this week, because next week I'm going out of town. So I am figuring out that balance.
Beth Demme (30:38):
Yeah. We both have a lot of freedom in our work-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:41):
Beth Demme (30:41):
... that not everybody has.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:42):
Definitely. Yes. We definitely have a different lifestyle than most.
Beth Demme (30:47):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:48):
So maybe we need to have a counterpoint to this episode, "Just say no," and how to tell yourself no. And how to be more self-disciplined. I could really spearhead that one.
Beth Demme (31:00):
Yes. Sounds great. Let's do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:02):
Yes. I love that, that every time I bring up an episode idea, you say yes. Now, it feels a little cheap now that I know that you're a "yes" person. But I do notice ... Now, I'm noticing it. I'm like, "She just says yes to everything. This is great. I must be brilliant with ideas, because she just always says yes."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:19):
I got to really think that through, though, because you do say yes to everything. I'm like, I have to really be confident on something, because you're just going to keep saying yes.
Beth Demme (31:29):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:31):
So Beth, do you think if more people said yes, just said yes to things, we'd have a better world?
Beth Demme (31:37):
I don't want to say that. That feels like I'm subjecting people to potential abuse. "Just say yes to everything, even when it's terrible." That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying for me, I've decided that I prefer to come from a place of yes than a place of no.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:55):
I think if the world had more critical thinking about their yeses and nos, we'd be a better place.
Beth Demme (32:06):
You know what I think people should say yes to?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:07):
Beth Demme (32:08):
I think people should say yes to our invitation to join us on our Buy Me a Coffee Page.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:13):
Buy me a coffee?
Beth Demme (32:14):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:14):
But I want a tea.
Beth Demme (32:15):
Yeah. Well, a coffee for me, a tea for you. But it's an easy thing that you can do, an easy way that we've created for you to be able to support us. You just go to buymeacoffee.com and you can become a monthly supporter or just a one time bit of encouragement, a one time bit of support so that I can get a cup of coffee, Steph can get a cup of tea.
Beth Demme (32:35):
Actually, when you do that, you'll get access to the PDFs of the Questions for Reflection that we do for each episode, which makes it a little bit easier to stick it in your journal, stick it in your planner, whatever your preferred method might be.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:49):
And there'll be a link in the description to our BuyMeACoffee page.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:54):
At the end of each episode, we end with Questions for Reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer to yourself, or you can find the PDF on our buy me a coffee.
Beth Demme (33:05):
Number one, do you consider yourself a "yes" person? Number two, have you made a decision based on the fear of missing out, FOMO, and later regretted it? Why? Number three, are there times you would rather endure a bad experience than say no? And number four, do you think it's important to say yes to more things in your life? Why or why not?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:31):
Discovering Our Scars podcast is produced by Stephanie Kostopoulos and Beth Demme.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.