KNOW THAT ‛NO' IS NO WAY TO LIVE (another chapter from the i-mail saga)
by Doug C. Grant
"You did it again, didn't you?"
"Did what?" I asked in response to another nagging i-mail from Other-Self. These annoying messages arrive internally on a frequent and unwelcome basis.
"You said ‛No,' to a party at the Johnsons'."
"Of course I said ‛No',. I hate parties with strangers."
"The Johnsons aren't strangers."
"Don't play smart with me. You know what I mean. Naturally I know the Johnsons. But I seldom know the people they invite."
"Oh, for heaven's sake. Pull up your socks. This just opens up another opportunity for you to expand your circle of acquaintances."
"Easy for you to say. You don't have to stand around making small talk. Or listen to some half-stewed egomaniac carry on about the wonderful things he's accomplished and the worldly trips he's taken. I can do without that sort of acquaintance, thank you very much."
From somewhere below came a sigh of exasperation. "You always seem to miss the point. Let's back up and try again."
"Why do you regularly say ‛No', to parties, meetings and other social opportunities?"
"That's a stupid question. Because I don't want to go. Is that too deep for you?"
"Why don't you want to go?"
"What are we playing here? Ring around the question? I don't want to go because I don't want to go. I'm not a party animal. I'm a loner. Get it?"
"Got it. You're afraid of rejection."
"I didn't say that!"
"Of course you didn't say that. Because you don't want to say that...even to me. If you go to a social gathering, you're afraid you'll say something stupid...which you often do because you're thinking more about yourself than other people. Or you fear that you'll jump into a conversation only to have the participants peel off for other groups. Worst of all, you're afraid of being relegated to a corner with only me to talk to. And that's really bad because you mumble when we talk and people don't like people who stand in a corner talking to themselves."
"You make me sound like an idiot."
"You are an idiot because you won't do anything to help yourself. You just keep on saying ‛No',' and every ‛No', makes it harder to say ‛Yes'."
"So what am I supposed to do? Go out and be miserable?"
"No. Go out and grow up. Stop taking the easy road. The next time you're asked to a party, meeting, church service or some other type of gathering, think before saying ‛No.' Ask yourself, "If I were Mr. or Ms. Glad-Hand Personality, would I enjoy this outing?" If yes...say ‛Yes', to the experience.
"When you dress for the occasion, dress your attitude. Decide to find out everything you can about the people you meet. Doing so will help take the focus off you and put it where it belongs, on others. You don't have to act like a reporter from Expose Magazine. Just be interested and listen. Really listen. People will think you're a great conversationist."
"And what happens when I get stuck with the classic bore who insists on telling me his life story in infinite detail?"
"Why just smile gently and say, "Excuse me, but I notice the hostess has a bra strap showing. I'm certain she'd appreciate hearing about it."
"Cute. But not exactly what I'd call an appropriate exit line."
"Fine. Then preplan your own. There's nothing in the rule book that says you have to drown in someone else's verbal excess. Any excuse offered with a smile will do. Sometimes the bore won't even notice you've left."
"All right. I'll try it. I'll call the Johnsons and tell them I changed my mind. But I expect you to help with suggestions if I run out of things to say or ask."
"Count on me. I'll never be more than a breath away." ___________________________ ______________
Read more nagging ‛i-mails' at http://www.dougcgrant.com . And be among the first to read each new chapter in the continuing i-mail saga. Subscribe free to the EMPOWERED MATURITY PAGE. No obligation, ever. And you can unsubscribe anytime. Join the fun and give your life a self-improvement kick on a regular basis. Subscribe by clicking this e-mail link: mailto:email@example.com Do it now. Don't miss the next nagging i-mail from Other-Self.
Doug C. Grant retired from a successful career as a nationally recognized business writer & marketing consultant. He now helps members of the ‛Over-50', crowd live healthier, happier and more productive lives through his Empowered Maturity Web Site (http://www.dougcgrant.com) and an on-line interactive seminar.