Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Please Excuse Me/Just say NO

This morning I feel especially pleased by my commitment to not offering excuses. First of all, nobody cares why. People just want what they want. If you offer an excuse or justification for why you are going to disappoint someone, it opens the door for negotiation and potential guilt. Examples: "I am too tired" can be rebutted with "Come on, it will be fun". "I cant afford it": "I will loan you the money." "I don't have time.": "It's just a a couple of hours." The possibilities are infinite. While one excuse is lame, a multitude of excuses makes you appear completely bullshit. Example: I have a cold and a mountain of laundry and my son has a report due next week. That is the same as saying: "I really don't want to and I am afraid you will force me. Please don't make me or hate me." My favorite and most effective way to say NO has taken years to develop. Feel free to borrow it as I have not yet patented it: "I am sorry but that wont work for me at this time". There is nowhere to go with that.(I qualify this by saying the obvious. This is only perhaps true and necessary in relationships lacking in trust or respect) As of late,my mother has expressed an interest in hosting my family for a visit. Keep in mind, she lives on the opposite coast. We are unable to do this for a multitude of reasons which if shared would likely serve as the beginnings of negotiations or judgments. Given the historical disconnection between mother and me, any attempt to explain "my selfish refusal to burden our household at many levels" would be ill received. We must honor our reality: We were hit with a 20% pay cut this year. Buying 4 airline tickets exceeds our financial constraints. Traveling with 2 babies across country is too difficult. Andy and I both have health issues that require surgery in the next months. With the exception of X-mas holiday, which we spend here, Andy has used all vacation days for 2009. My commitment is this: We will visit as soon as we are able, as determined by us.


  1. If you can tolerate it...ask her to come to you instead? Easier and cheaper for one single person to travel vs your entire family!

  2. It was requested specifically that we come to her, the implication being that she is no longer able to travel. I inferred this from her statement that my children would appreciate the novelty of her stair chair. Note: The need for stair chair implies a lack of mobility. I have considered offering a visit to us. There are a multitude of reasons/excuses that this is something that would be best to schedule in 2010. Thanks for reading my blog and offering input.


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