Have you ever felt guilty for not ‘being there’ or commiting to a friend so you tell them you’ll arrange to do it some other time, putting it off the only way you know how? If your intention is to not ever follow through with what you say, the easiest way to get out of it, the easiest way to safe face, is to be honest. I know, I know. They won’t get it, you’ll look selfish, they’ll whine about you to their friends, they may even passive-aggresively Tweet a quote on how good friends are hard to come by, so honesty is not an easy feat. But what happens when you put someone off is that they will keep inquiring and inquiring and inquiring (you see where I’m going with this?) until you actually follow through. And furthermore, if you know you’re not going to they will be even more so disappointed after being put off for so long that you will do more harm than good.
Asking for favours or for plans can make one feel uncomfortable if not met by a positive response by a friend. It makes one feel like a ‘bother’ and minorly rejected as they ask and ask away and it might cause some to-be-expected obsessiveness around why you can’t commit/do.
And this situations don’t just emerge with friends and guys you no longer want to date but don’t have the heart (or guts) to tell them, but it can also happen with parents or in-laws. You might not want to tell them that you’d rather spend a holiday or have already coordinated spending a holiday with someone else, so you keep ‘we’ll see’-ing them until it comes to the point that they’re waiting on you right before the event takes place. Don’t put people off. It’s not fair for them, and it’s not fair for you as it will create more stress and drama since you’ll be downward spiralling from one excuse (and guilt trip) to the next.
Respect people enough to be authentic with them. Value peoples time, emotions and hope by not giving your word when you know you won’t be seeing it through. If not, you will easily ruin your credibility. Since like breeds like, when you need them most there’s a high chance they – in turn – won’t pull through.
– Jenny Jen
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