Your phone beeps. You check it, and there’s a message, hinting that someone needs help. Not directly asking, of course, but strongly implying, by throwing the martyr’s card on the table. And the “deadline” would be today the latest tomorrow.
That message comes from a person who is a close friend or relative. It could also be a work-related email indicating, this is going to be a priority to you for the next 48 hours along with the rest of your number one priorities. You’d like to help at least in principle, but man, it feels like they don’t have absolutely any respect towards your time since they assume you’ll either drop everything to help them or don’t have anything.
That pisses me off big time.
Bad times, good manners
I have to admit that most likely, I have disrespected someone’s time too at some point. In these Covid-19 times, many find themself in the survival mode. People have been forced to find a way how things roll well in their everyday life. The level of stress varies, and the effects of isolations come out in different forms. It would be helpful still to remember good manners. Especially now.
Respect others by giving time and being outspoken
I get it. It’s tough to step into someone else’s shoes. It’s even hard to ask for help. But could we as least try? Its unlikely a family of five reacts faster than an individual who doesn’t have to put but only their shoes on. In addition to that, we all have different tempos and priorities, which affect how we react to things.
I would like you to concentrate on a few things:
- First of all, it is ok to ask for help. People, in general, want to help if they only can. So be polite and direct. Don’t try to wrap things into the gift paper. That won’t end up well in the long run.
- If you don’t plan what and when you do, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Ask in advance. A week ahead would be awesome, but three days is still doable.
- You can call for help 24/7 if there’s an emergency — just a friendly reminder. An emergency is really an emergency.
- Be outspoken, no one can read your mind.
- If someone doesn’t have time for you right that moment, it just means at that moment they don’t have time for you. Nothing else.
- It’s polite to say thank you when you’ve got help.
- Playing the martyr is not cool.
“I want it now”
So, what got me thinking about this?
On our way home with three hungry and tired kids, I got asked to do this one thing which was supposed to be five minutes’ job and just had to be done right now. Someone had started it with “of course I know how this works” and ended up, “I don’t know how to do this.”
And no, it wasn’t my husband! 😉
In this time of chaos, let’s not create any more of it. Let’s respect each other and their time.