I never do new year’s resolutions because they nearly always get broken within the first 2 weeks. It seems like you are just setting yourself up to fail and then end up feeling bad about it all. Doesn’t seem like there is really any point in them. However, I do believe in assessing aspects of your life and thinking about how improvements can be made and this year is no different.
Some of the more negative recurring themes of 2012, and the ones I am going to deal with right now are:
1) the feeling that certain people only phone when they want something: usually bailing out of some stupid problem they could have avoided if they had organised themselves months ago rather than lunching it out till the 11th hour. This is usually because of the assumption that someone will sort out their problems because they usually do;
2) People trying to dump what they are actually responsible for onto me, and;
3) General inconsiderate behaviour: turning up unannounced, phoning at ridiculous times of the day and/or night, or just expecting you to be at their beck and call and to fit in with their plans (usually because everyone else does) and generally dealing with the behaviour of inconsiderate arseholes who have no concept of the fact that not only do other people have lives, these do not actually, and certainly do not have to involve pandering to the flights of fancies of other people.
I have a very busy year ahead, come January 2013 I need to hit the ground running with enough energy for a return to nursing practice course, a job, my family and personal relationships. I have to prevent outside annoyances from becoming a complete drain on my physical, psychological and emotional resources.
So, what to do?
Well, I cannot change the behaviour of other people. I cannot change their personality traits – I can only change my own. What I can do is stop colluding with them and enabling them to continue treating me in ways that I personally find unacceptable.
I have already started to do this in 2012, and I have to say it has caused a few issues and made me somewhat unpopular at various times: people who telephone me less than 24 hours before they want me to do something, got told a very firm “no” this year. Not because I am a complete cow (although they would probably say that is debatable!) but because my plans are as valid as the next persons and unless it is an emergency, why should I be expected to change them to sort out someone else’s mess? Why drain my own energy on someone who got in a mess by not expending their own? I have to start seeing, and treating my own needs as equally important to those of others.
The other thing I did this year which caused a bit of a stir was to refuse to feel obligated to answer the phone when it rang at inopportune moments. My mobile is set to “do not disturb” between the hours of 11pm and 9am. There is a function for enabling an emergency call to come through (on a need to know basis)…therefore no one gets a response between these hours to calls or texts because I simply do not hear them. This is my time, with my family, or simply just for me, if other people can’t handle that, then tough.
Same with the landline: If I am having a power snooze or am just generally busy I will not answer it. I do have an answerphone and if it’s a dire emergency most folks will ring back in quick succession, then I pick up. And if someone has actually died which is the reason most people cite as to why I should be leaping on the phone at 7am….what difference will it make? Really? They will still be dead in an hour after I feel rested and I will probably be better able to deal with it at that time.
So, as saying no seems to become a lot easier the more you do it, number one is probably dealt with once although to be fair it needs a bit of a fine tune. 2) and 3) are a bit more difficult. The main problem is not with other people but with myself: I am allowing people to treat me in ways I find unacceptable and this is what I have to stop doing. This is not to say that I won’t help out when I can, but there is a fine line between helping someone sort something out and letting them dump the whole issue on me leading to me stressing out big time whilst they whistle away through life considering the whole thing “sorted”.
It’s the same with inconsiderate behaviour: if I am always there when they decide to show up, I let them in even if it’s inconvenient and make endless cups of tea; or let them dump some problem on me like child/dog sitting or whatever, or driving them somewhere then I can hardly complain if I haven’t got the balls to say no. So from here on in, I am gowing to grow a massive set of virtual testes! If someone turns up with expectations with no notice and it involves me in changing my plans or not making any “just in case” they decide to show up they can go and take a running jump and go and sulk in a corner!
Some might say I am being rude…I think it is rude to be that inconsiderate of other people and their needs to the point where you put them (ie, me) in that position.
If I want to be treated well, I need to set some boundaries, and that’s what 2013 will be about!