More than half of Brits are dealing with ‘FOSY’ – a ‘fear of saying yes’

Whether it’s down to financial worries or a lack of confidence British adults say they’ve been held back from saying ‘yes’ to things they want to do

Oliver Lewis
Tuesday 10 January 2023 18:49 GMT
A study has shown that many adult think a ‘fear of saying yes’ means they have missed out on making new friends
A study has shown that many adult think a ‘fear of saying yes’ means they have missed out on making new friends (SWS_Crodino_Dry_January_PRESS)

A recent poll of 2,000 adults revealed 37 per cent feel financial worries have held them back from saying ‘yes’ to enjoying experiences in the last 12 months.

While 37 per cent put it down to a lack of confidence.

In fact, in January – the start of a new year that’s seen as an opportunity to broaden horizons – the average adult says no to something they actually want to do every 10 days.

But this fear of saying yes means 35 per cent think they have missed out on making new friends, while 33 per cent have avoided asking someone on a date.

And 32 per cent believe it has held them back from trying a new hobby.

The research was commissioned by Crodino, to mark the launch of its campaign to encourage people to let go of saying no, by offering complimentary experiences this month, including cookery classes, bouquet making and karaoke.

The non-alcoholic aperitivo has also teamed up with psychologist Emma Kenny who spoke about what holds Brits back and why conquering the ‘fear of saying yes’ will have a positive impact.

She said: “FOSY is a common phenomenon, linked to the emotions we experience when faced with opportunities that push us outside our comfort zone.

“When there’s a chance we might be judged or we have pre-conceived ideas that we’re not good at something, our instinctive, knee-jerk reaction is to say "no".

“The research tells us in January, it’s even more common to say no to something, even if it’s something we want to do.

“The benefits of doing more of the things we wish we could but are afraid to say "yes" to are vast.

“When we take on new experiences, we grow in courage and develop personal resilience which increases our confidence and self-esteem, making life feel altogether more rewarding.”

However, the research also found Brits want to use 2023 to put themselves out there more – as three in five want to beat the January blues and say yes more.

To do so, 34 per cent will accept invitations to more social gatherings, and 23 per cent want to tuck into delicacies they haven’t tried before.

More than a fifth (21 per cent) also want to upskill their cooking ability over the course of the next 12 months.

And after several years of restrictions, 36 per cent want their life to be busier and with more variety.

While 43 per cent feel having the ability to say ‘yes’ to more will bring a sense of fulfilment.

Consequently, the research conducted via OnePoll, found 40 per cent hope it will make them a more positive person.

Loris Contro, Campari Group UK Italian Icons brand ambassador, said: “We understand that taking the initial leap of faith and saying yes to something new can be daunting at first – but the outcome can be so rewarding.

"That’s why we want to help people overcome their fear of saying yes and start the year as we mean to go on by doing the things we want to do.

"With millions taking part in Dry January, it shouldn’t prevent anyone from going out, or missing out on their favourite flavours."

Following the findings, Crodino has partnered with various hospitality venues across London, including Eataly, Nest, and Salt Yard Borough, and people can apply at Crodino for a free pass to an experience until January 17th.

Top 10 things to say yes to in 2023:

1.       New travel and holiday destinations

2.       More social activities and plans

3.       New friendships

4.       New health and exercise regimes

5.       New hobbies

6.       Cultural experiences

7.       New career and job opportunities

8.       New opportunities for self-care

9.       Live music events

10.   New food and cuisine

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