Background: I am the type of person who will bend over backwards for a friend. Shirt off the back. Last dollar out of pocket. You get the idea. So when a friend indicates he or she is too busy to do something, I will offer to help or to somehow make his or her life easier. That’s what I do.
Now, I (am starting to) realize that not everyone is like this. And, I (am starting to) realize that I can’t expect others to offer the same consideration or thoughtfulness that I would or do.
Influential Story: Earlier this week, my Dad and I scheduled an evening in which we would send out our Christmas cards (sign them, address them, stamp them, etc.). My last 2 months have been just shy of chaotic, and therefore I have very little time and must schedule everything, including 2 hours with my father for Christmas cards.
We were to meet at 7 at my place. I left the office at 6:40 (a 30 minute drive still ahead together with evening routine of caring for dog and horses, another 30 minutes). [blasted WLB]. So, I called him and asked to move back our meeting to 7:30 and whether he had eaten dinner… he said no on dinner and presumed we would eat together at my place…and I was to make it. Ok, fair assumption; the last time we got together, I made dinner. This night: not going to happen. So I, in my exhaustion, suggest that he eat in the extra time he now has or, if he would like, he could pick something up on his way over and we could still have dinner together.
Instead of taking me up on the later (which would have been MASSIVELY appreciated), he got irritated with me. His irritation came from my being exhausted and not letting him know about this new plan any sooner. [Background2: Dad is retired and lives 3 miles from me… it’s not like his schedule is crazy busy].
I do not express my anger to him, but instead channel it into deep thoughts. Why is it that when I have a lot of stuff to do, oftentimes the people in my life (a) do not offer to help, and (b) get frustrated/mad/irritated with me when I am not lively/peppy/chipper/on time to do whatever it is after what they did not offer to help me with? Dad is not the lone ranger here.
So part of this may also be a blanket apology (although I shouldn’t be apologizing). But, being that I have a great deal of responsibilities to manage right now at this point in my life, I ask that people have a bit more patience. If you aren’t going to have consideration enough to ask if I could use some help [Yes! Please!], then at least give me a few minutes for myself before taking up your cause and don’t be surprised if I’m not 100% gungho for the next event after having just busted my posterior on the previous one (which, I would probably still have to point out at this point, you did not offer to help me with).
It’s elementary consideration. Offer someone a helping hand once in a while and allow yourself to be surprised at the welcome response and return care you will receive.