We’ve all heard about how people today have issues saying no. We’ve heard that we need to learn to take time for ourselves, to relax and step back from our hectic lives. I don’t know who came up with this, but it certainly wasn’t someone running in my circles. It seems to me that some days all I hear is no. “No, I’m swamped in work.” “No, I’m too tired.” “No, I don’t have the time.” All of these phrases are merely clever disguises. What each of these phrases is really saying is, “No, you’re not that important to me.” “No, I don’t care enough about _____ to make it a priority.” How often these days don’t you suggest an event, go to host it, and then have everyone back out on you. How often don’t you ask for a small favour, a one-time thing that would take minutes, and people say, “I’m just to busy.”
It seems to me that we as a people are more selfish than ever. It seems to be that almost no one has issues saying no. Right now, that has me completely ticked-off. I work hard to accomodate those who I can, and if something is important to a person, I make time for it. If we weren’t so busy staring into our computer screens or wasting away in front of the TV in the evening, a whole lot more would get done. If we took time to look up and put a face to a request, rather than rejecting, or worse, not responding to an e-mail, this world would be a better place. Have you ever noticed that people have a much easier time being rude over the phone than in person? It’s part of the reason that being a telemarketer or surveyor is such a painful job. People can’t see your face, just your voice, and therefore they have no problem ripping into you. When I have an e-mail to send, I first see if I can track down that person and speak with them instead. Does it take a few extra minutes? Sure. Is it worth it to cultivate your relationships with others, and ensure that you’ve communicated clearly? There is no doubt. How many times haven’t you been insulted by an e-mail, only to talk it out quite civilly with the person later.
People, quit saying no when it’s inconvenient but thoroughly doable. Quit treating people as if there’s no face on the other end of the phone or e-mail. Quit being so selfish that all you see in front of you, is you.