Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Having a Pity Party. Join me, won't you?

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Ring, Ring.

"Creekhiker can't be reached right now. She's out taking a class on how to say no."

That's the message I wish I had the guts to put on my answering machine. But I don't.

I'm just feeling very taken advantage of. A woman I barely know...met her hiking... has talked me into dog sitting for a week. And though I've tried to tell her no in my spineless ways... "Twice a day, that's a lot!" - "You want me to play with them too? That takes a lot of time." "Can't make it Friday, I'm teaching. Can you get someone else?" "Could they do it the whole time?"

I've tried every's my busy season in the shop (very true); I'm working on a HUGE wholesale order plus the restaurant has me shipping international kits and Valentine kits this week (true). I've been working 18 hour days (truer than I care to admit); I only leave my shop once a day (mostly true). No matter what I said, this woman just barrelled through.

In the end I fell for it. "But my dogs don't like anyone the way they like you." ARGHH!!

But the thing that really pisses me off... she PROMISED to come help me in the shop to make up for the time I'll lose caring for her animals... and didn't.

I'm 42 years old and I still get so disappointed off when a human being says one thing and does another. I should know better by now. But still I believe. If she just would have said "Thank you" and nothing else, I wouldn't be so mad. But don't promise something and not deliver.

I guess I have no one to be pissed at but me... anyone know where I can buy a spine?


Sunflower Optimism said...

Oh dear, CH. I've done things like that, all too often. You want to make everyone happy - but you can't shortchange yourself.

A "class" I recommend is "The Artist's Way" or "Walking in this World" both by Julia Cameron. Both are similar. They are books with assignments - all worthwhile exercises. Will really help with everything in your life, never mind just the saying "no" part.

This is the 4th time in the past few days that a blog has brought these books to mind. I'm thinking this is NOT a coincidence - and that I need to get back to doing the exercises. I quit several years ago but for the past month or so I've been thinking about going back to it - and lately these various "blog reminders" are pointing me to these books also.

Very funny, I've been writing on yours and just got the comment you wrote on my blog!

KatieMc said...

You'll get a spine when you are ready. I say that in all seriousness and warmth of a friend. It's a process.

I had to ask myself: WHY am I having difficulty saying no? What am I afraid will happen?

I've had to actually practice saying words out loud to myself in the mirror to screw up the courage to say them to the person....I felt idiotic but it really helped!

Anonymous said...

Well at least now you know about that person and maybe it will help you hold your ground with her in the future. I was a freelance graphic designer for years and it took a long time to learn to say no even to good friends who wanted free design work. Now I take pride in being able to say 'No, I don't do that.' and just leaving it at that. There's not much people can do when you don't engage them back. Good luck...this is my busy time of year too and I'm pretty exhausted. Don't know what I'd do if I was also taking care of someone elses animals! Carmon

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Sunflower, I've had The Artist's Way book for ages and never got around to reading it. I really must...

Katie, I do have a spine with other things... I guess I just thought she would get the hint. Oddly enough, other than missing about an hour of work time, it was fine. Her dogs really like me.

Carmon, I think it was Oprah that said just say no period. We always act like "no" needs an explanation when it really doesn't. I need that tattooed somewhere...

Linda@VS said...

Well, now that she thinks you're an easy mark, I suspect she'll give you lots more opportunities to practice saying no. I'll bet the next time won't be as difficult for you, either.

My rule of thumb is whether or not it will make me happy to do what the other person wants. If it will, then we'll both be happy, and that's a really good thing.

If it won't make me happy, then one of us will be UNhappy even if I help. Why should I be the unhappy one when I'm not the one with the problem? And my saying no won't make the other person's problem any worse than it already was.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Velvet, I'm going to try and remember that. I really do like her dogs and, I've had a couple of really frustrating days so it's actually nice to have to leave the shop!