Feeling supported by people can have a great impact on our self-confidence, the decisions we take, or simply our outlook on life. Let’s admit it: it’s always nice to have people agree with us. There is a positive reinforcement that our ideas, our opinions are good – and who wouldn’t want that?

We tend to spend more time around such people for the way they make us feel. But what happens when we do things that are not great for us? Will they warn us it’s a mistake? It’s not that certain.

‘Yes’ people don’t have your back

Beware of people who are always supportive, because they won’t have your back when you need it. They will not tell you you shouldn’t call your ex. They will not tell give you feedback that will help you grow. They will not tell you these glasses look horrible on you. They will not tell you you have something stuck in your teeth.

‘Yes’ people are not, for the most part, ill-intentioned, I think it’s very important to mention it. There are many reasons why they are like this, and only you could start seeing it:

  • They easily feel embarrassed
  • They don’t know how to tell you in a nice way
  • They avoid confrontation or conflict
  • They are people-pleaser (they never ever say no)
  • Or simply they don’t care enough

So even though they give us a sense of validation which we all need, it doesn’t always serve us.

Who you should trust instead

The solution to this, and I’m pretty sure you know where this is going, is to have close friends who will tell you things for what they are, not what you want to hear. They will act as your counterbalance when it is needed. They will be the pros to your cons, the cons to your pros.

Why is it so important? Because we look at reality in a biased way, all of us. Our past, our experience, our personality traits, impact our decision making, our assumptions and prejudices. And because we all have different backgrounds, other people will look at the same situation differently, sometimes with even more clarity since they are not directly involved directly. When they share their opinion with us, they open our visual field, they help us change our perspective or take a step back.

So be mindful of the individual style of people around you. If you’ve identified a people-pleaser, they might not be the best person to go to if you need an honest opinion about something. That doesn’t mean you should discard these relationships, just pick the right moment to engage with them. And embrace the ones who challenge you.