As I am about to complete my first year as a scholar, as I am going after my impossible goal, as I utterly change who I am being in this world, another thing happens: the requests I get change too.
Yesterday I received an email from a friend of a friend, who decided to give my email address to his granddaughter who started writing short stories and she would like to send me her work so I will tell her what I think.
He already gave her my email, she wrote excitedly and sent over her samples without asking whether I would like to read or have time to read, and they wait in front of their inbox for my enthusiastic reply.
When that failed to arrive, he wrote me again after 24 hours, telling me he is certain I will reply to her today.
Think again, I thought to myself.
So I noticed a really unpleasant feeling of anger that I have towards his request and how he went about it.
Ten models later or so, my unintentional thought was distilled to ‘What a Hutzpah!’ which, of course, will bring me to feeling angry.
When I finally laddered some other options, I came to a profound realization of a series of new thoughts about his request:
To start with, where I am now, in this growth mindset and action shift, this is exactly part of what I am been asked to learn. Requests will come and they will start with granddaughters’ writing and will grow to donations and what not. They have always the right to ask. I have always the right to say yes or no.
What he had in mind is probably – she is smart and I value her opinion. She is a writer. She is kind and will gladly read my granddaughter’s writing.
All of which are only positive thoughts. But they don’t require of me to comply.
I have no reason to be angry for being asked. I appreciate the insinuated compliment but instead of lying to myself in order to please his request, I tell the truth to us both: ‘It’s not something that I do.’ And with that I free myself, and I teach him how I live and what I do or don’t do.
If I come across as rude, that’s his experience to have, based upon his interpretation.
I answer politely, and I move on.
I find this mini lesson so telling of how my awareness grew and how I should be expecting more and bigger requests with time, and that I just had a little training ground to practice saying ‘no’ to a small request and process the feelings it aroused in me. It’s like the first push-up I’ve practiced on the subject of how to treat requests when you are in a growing mode.
Thank you, always.