Some people think I’m mean.
If I’m asked a question – particularly one I should say no to I’m noticing – my mind reels looking for an appropriate answer to avoid doing whatever it is I’m asked OR an answer that will prevent the real question from ever coming up.
“What are you doing today?”
Seems like a simple question, huh? Not for me. Immediately I detect they want me to do something (usually involving watching their kid – which I don’t enjoy in the least) and I search for an answer that will allow me to get out of it without actually saying “no.”
The problem is I hesitate.
What looks like a two second pause is actually a stream of thoughts going at nitrous speed. It’s like watching a bunch of commercials in fast forward – or for the younger crowd: hitting skip repeatedly. My brain turns into a filing cabinet. Zipping through all the tabs at an incredible rate looking for the right answer.
The hesitation comes across as me being a jerk. Which oddly, is not the case. Or the intent.
No, I don’t enjoy watching other people’s children but that doesn’t mean I can’t be helpful and won’t do it.
I get it. Help is nice.
My biggest issue, in most cases, I end up getting taken advantage of… and I resent them for it.
While some mom’s go through life serving everyone and catering to everyone’s needs – after a few decades she finally has had it. She’s miserable and wants to voice it. And everyone applauds her for her bravery and doing something for herself. Fortunately (and unfortunately) for me: I’d rather not go down that road at all.
I’m a nip-it-in-the-bud sort of person.
I refuse to get locked into something that I know will make me miserable. (Ever hear of the term “caged animal?” That’s this girl right here.) I’ll help but one whiff or act of disregard, disrespect, or “tip toe-ing” the line – I’m done. Once you have taken advantage of me “here let me help you,” completely leaves my vocabulary.
Does that make me a hard ass or uncaring?
I really don’t know the answer to that. Living on egg shells because you feel like someone is going to ask an undesirable question is not a way to live. I don’t feel “here let me help you” should leave my vocabulary but NO most certainly should enter it.
How do you politely say no?