Posted by: Heather Coleman | November 1, 2014

I Have Yes Remorse. Really, It’s A Thing!


My friend Meagan and I were chatting on the phone the other day when the topic of Yes Remorse came up. What is Yes Remorse? Basically, it’s that sinking feeling you get after you’ve said yes to someone or something and now you are regretting it. There are a few different types of Yes Remorse. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

I Said Yes and I Want To, But I’m Still Regretting It

This is something you truly wanted to say yes to, but as the time gets closer to the event or action taking place, you are still regretting having said yes. Maybe you are just second guessing yourself. Maybe it won’t live up to your expectations. Maybe you’re just anxious or nervous. Whatever it is, the time is approaching fast and you’re just not feeling it.

I Said Yes, But Something Better Has Come Along

This is when you’ve made a commitment to somebody or something and then shortly after that, something else comes up that you would much rather do. Now you’re stuck trying to think of how to back out of the original agreement without hurting anyone’s feelings. You’re also really hoping that the first person doesn’t find out that you have also said yes to the second person. This is when social media becomes a very dangerous thing.

I Said Yes, But What I Really Meant to Say Was No

This is when you said yes as a knee jerk reaction. Maybe you weren’t prepared for the ask and you certainly didn’t take enough time to think through your answer, because if you had, it most certainly would have been a no. Maybe the question came from your boss, or your spouse, or a family member for the umpteenth time. Whatever the situation was, you are now wracking your brain for an excuse that will get you out of the commitment all together.

This is where Yes Remorse needs to become a “thing”. If we all collectively agree that we really do experience Yes Remorse on a regular basis, we could start sharing this fact with others.

For example, my friend Susie is hosting a sales party for jewelry, or bags, or something of the sort and wants me to come. I instinctively say “yes” because we’ve been friends for awhile now and she has bought some stuff from my kids’ fundraisers before. The very next day, Mary invites me to a happy hour for some people in her circle of friends, that just happen to do the same type of work I do. I’d much rather go to the happy hour, so I give Susie a call and this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Hey Susie, how have you been?

Susie: Pretty good, just been busy prepping for my great sales party on Saturday night. It will be good to see you again.

Me: Yeah…about that. I’m sorry to say that I’m feeling a ton of Yes Remorse. I know you understand what I’m saying. Really, the answer is no this time, but I’m hoping that I get over it quickly.

Susie: Oh, yes. I had Yes Remorse last week and was really glad that it turned into a no for me too.

Feel like that is an isolated situation? Think again! Yes Remorse works in all types of situations. Just imagine:

How about that High School Reunion? Sorry, I’ve got Yes Remorse…see you in 5 years!

Want to come to my kid’s birthday party? I’d love to, but this Yes Remorse is really kicking my butt, so I’m going to have to say no instead.

Can you work overtime? I’m always one for chipping in for the team, but I feel a bit of Yes Remorse hitting me already. Maybe next time.

So the next time you catch a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and you say “YES” too quickly, just remember that Yes Remorse happens to everyone and it’s about time we start recognizing it for the NO it really is. 


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