Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just say, No, not now, maybe later. Thanks.

I had a pleasant interaction with my friend Dannie Moriarty this week. And it kind of made me sad that the fact that it was pleasant was unusual.

I am involved in a lot of group activity. Not sure how it got this way, because I used to be a proud non-joiner. But there we are. I not only join, but lately I lead and I create. I get involved.

Anyway, all that means is that I am pushed for time. And this week, I pushed back just a little.

I have volunteered at the last three IgnitePhoenix events. It helped keep costs down and I got to see the show and hang out for the evening with a bunch of smart, funny people.

Dannie sent out a note this week asking again for volunteers. I'm feeling a little swamped and told her so. I told her thanks for asking, but I'm going to sit this one out. And I asked her to keep me on the list for future events.

She replied in an e-mail:

I will absolutely keep you on my list. I hope it is a lot of GOOD going on at work.

Thanks for letting me know!

Thanks for letting me know.

I won't go into details, but this simple, polite exchange felt a little unusual and I've been wondering why.

Rather than say, 'No, thanks,' or 'Not now, thanks,' or 'I am no longer interested in being involved,' some people just neglect to have the conversation.

Why? Is it that people who never hear 'No' don't know how to say 'No?' Why don't people feel comfortable engaging? There's a little too much avoidance.

Not quite sure why it is, but thanks, Dannie, for having an honest, simple, polite exchange this week.

Robin, Tempe

P.S. As I reread this post, trying to decide whether it is too negative for a Perfect Moment (decided no, Dannie's exchange was perfect), I realize that I've been keeping one friend hanging myself.

Judy: Yeah, still wanna do it. I'll call you.


flourishingjudy said...

Here's to saying yes and saying no....and trusting each other to speak directly with each other- in person, and through voicemail, email, Twitter, Facebook, texts....and especially by leaving little notes at the end of posts! Brilliant, all!

Beth said...

Saying no...I am sure it was refreshing for the both of you!

m said...

Isn't it funny how sometimes the simplest courtesies are enough to renew, recharge and remind us to do the same?

This was a really nice reminder, and totally worthy of a perfect moment.

Lavender Luz said...

Knowing yourself is the first bit of awesome. Expressing yourself is the second. And having your message received in the spirit intended makes it a trifecta!

Quiet Dreams said...

That WAS a great note. I find myself putting off those conversations when I think I might disappoint someone. So much better to be up front and get it off my plate (and theirs).

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