Tuesday, September 06, 2005
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!
Hi everyone, I had a very nice vacation. I hope everyone had a chance to refill their batteries for the long year ahead of us.
I’m very glad to be back and start blogging again, so here I go.
One of my principal flaws, is the inability to say “no”.
It’s quite relative as my family and friends will point that out as my most desirable characteristic.
In connection to the former I avoid conflict as much as possible, usually accepting and doing things much to my disadvantage.
This vacation again proved how badly I need to work on this.
Part of the problem comes from my pragmatic side.
In the hotel we were assigned a different room than the one we ordered through the agency.
I explained as nicely as I could that there must be some mistake.
After they verified, I just said:”never mind how much time do you spend in your room anyway”? [pragmatic right there]!
Naturally the room I should’ve gotten was much nicer and we ended spending a lot of time in the room…
There were many more examples, but the point is I have to be more assertive with people when the situation calls for it.
The other day I called a good friend to say hi. After listening to him criticizing and complaining about everything and everyone for half an hour, I started to hint that I needed to hang up.
Needless to say my hints were ignored and I continued to listen and respond.
My wife made the “just hang up” gesture but I couldn’t just slam the phone down in the middle of a sentence, could I?
At last I said “hello, hello? Are you still there! and hung up. [Fear of conflict]!
Unfortunately this has got to be the oldest and most pathetic trick in the book.
My mother wanted to take me somewhere and made an appointment, of which I was only informed one day in advance, less than 24 hours actually.
I explained I couldn’t make it the next day as I would be unable to take off from work just that Monday.
(Obviously the appointment was made Friday already, but I was only notified on Sunday).
She argued that there was no way she could cancel now, and that I was expected to be at place Y the next day at 1 pm.
Remembering my fifth grade Rebbe with his large scary eyes, preaching”Kibud av V’aem,which incidentally also includes your class Rebbe, is the most important Mitsvah there is!
I acquiesced and went along.
Then last week something happened! I was half asleep when I received an unexpected phone call.
“We’d like to invite you to a (boring, endless, no good food, barely know any of the other guests) Shevah Berachos we’re hosting this Wednesday.
Because I was so tired my ‘careful’ mechanism was offline and I answered no thanks.
I shockingly realized what I'd done, but too late, the words were out.
The caller just said that it was a shame and hung up.
I saw him two days later on the street and he gave me a friendly greeting.
Suddenly it dawned on me, I don’t have to go, and he wasn’t even insulted or mad.
I wanted to kick myself for all those times I had grudgingly accepted invitations to Shevah Berachos for fear of insulting the host, when in fact nobody cares!
The same week I declined another invitation and politely refused to drive someone to the airport , even though I had plenty of free time!
I honestly feel like a new life is about to begin for me!
My philosiphy is mainly that if it helps him and dosent hurt me i'm game.
So there needs to be a line somewere.
But listen to your mother...
TRM-Thanks for the advice, I have to listen to my mother anyway she's got a much stronger personality than I have.
Confused-Keep reading! as soon as I get better at saying NO, I’ll write about it! good luck in the meantime.
Chris-thanks for passing by as well
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