No, I actually don’t want to spend time with you

word porn 1One of the many themes of z2 is that time is a precious commodity, and needs to be used well. A good bit of my time and probably yours is committed to health (eating, sleeping) hygiene (bathing, cleaning) and supporting ourselves. In fact, when we get done with all of that there isn’t much left over. But there is some, and for me at least it is the most precious resource that I have.

So what to do when someone announces that they want some of it? If it’s a person I care about, they generally get my ear, my help moving, a ride somewhere, whatever.  The time I give them may or may not bring me joy, but they do, and so I share willingly.

The more difficult situation is the social event that I have no desire to attend. I’m a strong introvert, and I get my full daily allowance of people just from going to work and filling gas. However, some social functions aren’t really optional. If it’s work mandated, or important to someone I care about, I go. Of course. If it’s a chance to try something new or learn about something that interests me, I sometimes give it a try. One can be surprised.

raising11But if it’s an old acquaintance I haven’t heard from in a long time and didn’t particularly enjoy back when, then I have finally learned to say no. Some people just bring me down. They may complain a lot, or talk about others, or make little jokes that insult me or people I know or whole groups of people. The net result is that whenever I spend time with them I feel sadder, smaller, and weaker than I did before. So why would anyone do that?

Yet for years if somebody invited me somewhere I felt obligated to go, if I was available. At best I’d make up a lie about having other plans and I’m a really bad liar. Recently, I have managed, instead, to say to such people “my life’s just too full right now, but thanks for thinking of me.” No suggestion of a another time, no saying I’m sorry I can’t make it. At most I have added “I hope the rest of you have fun.” And I do, I wish no one ill. I just don’t want to be there, and I’m finally old enough to recognize that I don’t have to be.

It’s tremendously liberating!

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4 thoughts on “No, I actually don’t want to spend time with you

  1. Thank you for writing this! I had one friend in particular that asked to hang out for reasons I never agreed with. I quickly caught on to the fact that some people ask to hang out to satisfy their own agenda. They don’t desire the even exchange of friendship. Like you, I want to feel good after hanging out and I want my friends to feel good too. Quality control has wonderful benefits.

    1. Thanks Elle for sharing your thoughts. I think that most of us know a few people like this. There’s nothing particularly wrong with them but we don’t enjoy time spent together. Finally figuring out that is wasn’t rude to decline has helped me in so many ways. Best to you and your blog (I’m a follower now!)

    2. Yes, there is nothing wrong. I agree. Just different intentions. It is helpful to learn how to respect ourselves and value our time -a wonderful lesson. Thanks for following me! I look forward to reading your posts as well.

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