Why Being Surrounded By “Yes-Men” Is Dangerous – People Who Always Agree with You

We find peace in being supported by others. When expressing our ideas to the people around us, we more often look for acceptance rather than criticism of our thoughts. This innate desire for our thoughts and ideas to be accepted by the world around us drives us to surround ourselves with people who think and act like us. Our friends are more likely to agree with our ideas than strangers on the street, and is a major reason why we surround ourselves with them. They are more likely to go with you to your favorite restaurant, see the movie you want to watch, and support you in your career goals. 

Having people who support what you do and say in life is critical. You need to know when to pull the trigger on your ideas and having people who support your decisions is a weight taken off your shoulders. You become less anxious with supportive people in your life, and you become more confident in the general direction your life is taking. Spending life alone and making decisions without the support of anyone around you is a scary thing to do, and is not conducive to good decision-making. 

A problem arises however, when the people around you become so supportive that they shy away from providing criticism when you deserve it. Having people around you to put a stop to your potential to make bad decisions is just as important as having people who support your good ideas. 

You Need Someone To Protect You From Yourself 

You will make bad decisions in your lifetime. They may even be terrible. Catching them before the execution phase is the best method of alleviating the stress which they may cause in the future. Our confidence is often misguided in the many things that we do, and bad decisions are often seen clearer from the third-person perspective. Surrounding yourself with people who do not automatically say, “yes,” to everything that you propose is critical in saving yourself from the ideas that seem so right until they go wrong. 

This is the reason why you should fight the urge to surround yourself with people who only agree with you. Look for trusted companions who are not afraid to disagree with you, and do not automatically label them as jealous, envious, or uneducated on the subject when they do. You should take criticism from those close to you with utmost seriousness, and try to view your decision making from an objective third person perspective. 

Do not fall in love with hearing how good your ideas are from those around you. You are only a human being, and you will be wrong many times in life. Looking at a situation from all angles requires the unbiased opinions of others – including the ones who tell you how terrible your decision-making skills sometimes are. They will save you from regret in the future, and most of all, from being a victim of your own confidence and bias. Any opponents you have in life will have an advantage if your decisions are not properly vetted by those around you. Making preventable mistakes stemming from your own over-confidence in things is a painful way to lose. 

Book Recommendation: 

Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement

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