How Saying Yes Saved Me From Getting Robbed8 minute read

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! I am so fucked right now! Dammit, if only I had pants on at least I would feel a little more manly!

My brain one fun night

Have you ever seen the movie “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey? Did you know that saying yes to opportunities like he did could save your life, or even your wallet, like it saved mine?

For those that haven’t seen it, or need a reminder, here’s the plot:

Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is stuck in a rut with his negative ways. Then he goes to a self-help seminar and learns to unleash the power of yes. Living in the affirmative leads him to all sorts of amazing and transforming experiences; he gets a job promotion, and even finds a new romance. But Carl finds that too much of anything, even positive thinking, is not necessarily a good thing.

After re-watching the movie I started thinking about it; could saying yes more actually change my life?

The Technique That Got Me Started

I read about this technique called the A.R.E. technique from Art of Manliness. Between both this technique and re-watching Yes Man I decided to give both a shot.

To be honest, I did this because I thought it would make a good story if nothing else.

Little did I know, that this seemingly small decision would save me from getting robbed a few months later while I was homeless. But first, let’s cover what this technique is.

What is A.R.E.?

A.R.E. stands for Anchor, Reveal and Encourage.

Without spoiling AoM’s article, here’s a brief overview of what each part of A.R.E. means:

  1. Anchor
    1. Basically, you say something about the environment or something else you both are sharing in that exact moment
    2. It can even be something as bland as “nice weather we’re having”
    3. Try not to worry too much about what it actually is. AoM references them as “Friendly Noises”. And their only purpose is to break the ice with people. Just a polite way to get into conversation
  2. Reveal
    1. This is where you follow-up with something about yourself. Just a quick, two second remark that allows someone to latch onto something
    2. The goal with reveal, is to make it easier on the other person to keep the conversation going later on by asking you about something, or even share a quick joke. This allows the conversation to flow and makes it easy on your conversational partner
    3. It also helps cement the fact that you’re sharing in an experience, that you’re on the same side and are friends
  3. Encourage
    1. Here you make a statement or ask a question that encourages the other person to continue the conversation
    2. There’s not a lot that can go wrong here, just make sure that you make it easy for the other person to respond (so no questions about the delicate balance of atoms during nuclear fission)

Here’s an example of A.R.E. in action:

Sure is hot outside today (Anchor). I think my fingernails are starting to sweat (Reveal). What do you think, you’re not melting over there are you (Encourage)?

And just like that you’re in a conversation!

From their response you can start talking about what each of you believes an ideal day is like, weather-wise. Then from there the sky is the limit!

In fact, here is an article that looks at what to do during conversation to captivate people.

A.R.E. You The Asian Pimp?

Working through the WiFi at various coffee shops I met quite a few people using this small talk technique.

I fumbled my way through it the first few dozen times but eventually I got to be fairly competent with it. Getting people to open up and talk to me about serious things going on in their lives.

And that’s when I met my friend that started this chain reaction. We’ll call him the Asian Pimp.

The Asian Pimp realized that I was going through a tough time and invited me out for sushi one night after I A.R.E.’ed him.

To be honest, I didn’t want to go. I was tired and cranky, massively depressed and didn’t want to go.

I wanted to say no, but I knew that I had to say yes. And this is what kick-started our friendship.

That alone was worth saying yes to the opportunity, as well as the opportunity that came next…

The House Party Fiend

Fueled with a win, this was what lead to the next person in this chain reaction.

This guy we’ll call the House Party Fiend, because he liked to invite people over to his house all of the time.

It took some excellent, below-average schmoozing but eventually I was invited for this fateful night of fun and friends. The night that I almost broke my dry spell and then almost got robbed (shockingly, the two are not related).

The Night

It was a warm, muggy night and I was absolutely exhausted, even more after going to see my new friends.

Once the fateful night arrived I made sure to dress in my fanciest hobo outfit that I kept stored in a storage locker for just this occasion. And then I headed out.

It was a fun night, hanging out and just relaxing for the first time in months. But eventually I decided to head ‘home’.

Home being a parking lot of a CVS store around midnight at the time.

A little after getting ‘home’ was when I met this would-be robber.

The Douchebag

I was just settling in when a car pulled in next to me. In it was a couple of guys, no music playing and just sitting there.

That’s not creepy at all. They’re definitely not here to murder you. I’m sure you have nothing to worry about. Good luck falling asleep

My brain

I hadn’t even had time to fall asleep yet. But something about this car set off some alarm bells in my head and I could not fall asleep while they were there, or after they left.

They weren’t making a lot of noise, so if I were already asleep I wouldn’t have ever known they were there.

But then, after a few minutes of just hanging out they took off, just as quietly as they rolled in.

Still unable to sleep, something kept picking at my brain that wouldn’t let me sleep. But I tried to push it out of my mind because I had to work in a few hours.

And after an hour, I finally realized what my brain had picked up on: what were they doing there? Why wasn’t there any music playing in a car with three guys? Were they there for drugs, I didn’t see any when I looked up.

So why were they there?

I couldn’t figure it out but I was about to…

Like a Ninja

I figured it out when something else caught my attention. To this day I still don’t know what it was, but when I rolled over in my seat and looked up I saw him.

Pretty much like this

A guy rolling up on a motorcycle just a foot or two away from my car. He hadn’t reached my car just yet but wasn’t far away. His motorcycle was turned off and he was coming straight at me.

That’s when it dawned on me; they were there for my car. But they saw that I was awake and eventually went away.

And that’s when my lovely brain started racing a mile a minute…

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! I am so fucked right now! Dammit, if only I had pants on at least I would feel a little more manly! Tweet This

This guy was probably one of them because I never heard a motorcycle. He had to have been one of them because how else would he have been able to sneak up on my car like that? Without me hearing it?

He must have been expecting me to be asleep, because after I looked up and he saw me he spoke:

What are you doing?

Motorcycle Douche

Nothing. What are you doing?


Now, keep in mind that at this point I have my coat around me as a blanket because it’s close to summer. It’s too hot most nights for my heavy duty sleeping bag. And besides this coat, I’ve got my boxers on.

If he had a weapon on him, I would have been screwed unless he wanted to run into my box cutting razor blade.

Stay Calm

It deserves an article all on its own, but in situations like these it’s ESSENTIAL that you keep a cool head.

You have to act like nothing is out of the ordinary. Just another day, been there, done that and I’m already bored.

That’s what my response said. In addition, by turning the question around on him I get him talking.

Talking gets people talking instead of acting. Which in this case, where I’m almost naked and there’s no telling what he has on him, is a great thing for me. I want him talking instead of acting.

I can work with someone talking. It’ll be a little more difficult to work with someone acting.

About to rob yo ass

Mr. Bright, Sunshiney Day at Midnight

Sounds fun

My delightful, naked ass

The Stare-Down

After that we stared at each other for what felt like hours…

I didn’t show any stress on my face, but I was completely focused on him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even see his face because he had his helmet on him.

Thankfully, he drives safely. Because that’s important.

After that he rolled away and off into the night. Never to be heard from again.

And that was it. Had I been asleep at any point during the night when they came around, I would have gotten robbed.

Had I not kept a cool head, I would have been robbed.

If I had never said yes to the Asian Pimp, then I more than likely would have been robbed.

Say yes to the opportunities that come your way. You never know where they might lead to. They might lead to a friend who helps change your life. Or to another friend who will help enrich your life.

These opportunities might even come back to save your life. You just never know.

Start saying yes, and Keep Moving Forward

 Save as PDF

Comment down below to keep the conversation going (to fight spam they may take a little while to appear)