Many of us rely on other people for our social activities, for support at home and in work, as well as just having someone to chat with and let out how you are feeling that particular day. Vulnerable people in particular need friends and family they can count on during these times. This post is going to address the issue of ‘yes’ people. The ones who are overly enthusiastic to help you when you are talking to them in person, however, as soon as they get back to their own reality they cannot back up their words. This can be very disheartening and upsetting if you do not have thick skin or regular social activities. People with anxiety and depression find this most distressing, as they will start to feel unwanted by those they wish to spend time with, or resentful because they feel the person blatantly intended not to follow through with their promises.
As the old saying goes ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. I am sure you meant well at the time you made your promise and I am guessing you were planning to keep it. Life can easily get in the way of our plans, although you should think about how often you may have done this to a particular person. If you suddenly find a regular in your life has stopped calling and texting then reflect on your last interaction with them. Did you make a promise? Were you supposed to meet them? Call them? Give them a hand with something they could not manage on their own? If you did and you forgot to deliver then you cannot blame that person for being irritated with you. Everyone’s time is precious not just yours so be mindful of this before telling the world and his wife how you are around to assist.
Being a yes person not only impacts on those you are accidently fibbing to, it also hurts your reputation. They say when a person has a bad experience in a shop they will tell on average 8 people…well the same goes for how you treat your friends. Perhaps even more so as there is extra emotion attached to friendships than there is a shopkeeper and a consumer! It is not good practice to make a judgement of someone on hearsay, however, it does happen frequently and you may find your name being spat negatively out of a strangers mouth. And all because you did not do what you said you were going to! Does not seem worth it does it?
If you are the kind of individual who likes to have their own activities without interference from anyone else, or if you are extremely busy, then it is more effective to just be honest about it. Your social circle maybe unhappy that you have chosen to not to spend time with them, however, this is your right and they have to accept you live your life how you want. At least by being honest you are being real to them and yourself. Keeping people hanging on whilst you see if you can make time is a little insulting. Even more insulting is if the person you have let down sees you enjoying yourself with someone else…at the exact time you were meant to spend with them! If this is you then be aware you are now entering Scummersville or YesPersonTown. You should take the next turning into ImSorryCity and park up in ReflectionBay.
Of course these instances can happen by accident and any reasonable person will forgive you. Just remember…it is sometimes better for yourself and the other person if you just say ‘I’m sorry I do not have time’. At least then they have the opportunity to make plans with someone else and are not left hanging.