Snip, Snip, Snip
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
Part of my mentorâ€™s role is to help me identify bad habits and Â replace them with good ones. That could as easily be patterns Iâ€™m replacing. Or programming. In any case, itâ€™s a new way of thinking and new patterns to follow in my doing.
One thing Iâ€™ve discovered Â in my new mindset that is so unlikeÂ Â meÂ Â is….Â Â No,Â Â was soÂ Â unlikeÂ Â me.Â Â Iâ€™mÂ Â re- programming. Iâ€™m snipping Â threads that are flung at my time.
I used to return every phone call. Even to telemarketers. Â I Â answered Â every Â email, Â no Â matter Â what. Â I Â responded. I was very good at responding.
Somewhere in my life, a notion was instilled in me that other people had spent their valuable time to call or write me and so I owed them a response. The unsaid was, my time wasnâ€™t as valuable, that I had to Â respond. That takes up a lot of time!
I get tons of emails asking for my help. Not people who buy my Â booksÂ or buy from my website, Â but they found me online and want my time and advice for freeâ€” and expect an answer for free. And up until Â recently, I responded to every single one. Iâ€™ve learned to hit the delete button.
Itâ€™s rather Â odd Â how Â I Â came Â to Â this Â decision. Â Iâ€™ve known for Â years that answering emails and phone calls â€œbecause Iâ€™m a good personâ€ or because my mama taught me to be nice was a huge time sink for me. Usually with no return. I spent many lunch hours and evenings advising a local non-profitÂ groupâ€”for freeâ€”and the return I got for my efforts was a request for me to pay for membership, pay for advertising, and Â pay for my own salad when I had to take time off from work to meet them for lunch. The advice I gave them was worth thousands of dollars and they couldnâ€™t even buy me lunch, once. But if I didnâ€™t value Â my time, why should they? I knew I was giving away too much of my time and too much of my fire to people who didnâ€™t appreciate it, and I came to resent it.
I also came to resent myself for doing it.
But even Â amid Â all Â the Â emails Â and Â phone Â calls, Â Iâ€™ve made some new friends online via my blog, my websites, and other websites I joined to socialize on my own terms (as in, when I feel like it). Theyâ€™ve brought Â new experiences to me and I enjoy chatting with them and the intellectual stimulation. They have no idea how few people I respond to online these days.
What affected this change was an old friendâ€™s suggestion that I sign up at collarme.com Â to see what kinds of new friends I might meet. What I got was a bazillion men begging me to talk to them, and hundreds of resumes and photos Â for me Â to review Â from Â men Â who claimed Â they were willing to relocate to be near me, flog themselves to death if it would delight me, or sign over their bank ac- counts to me if I would Â adopt them as my pets. So far, Iâ€™ve responded to 3 people, ironically all women who had some interesting and informative exchanges Â with me regarding religion.
The men? None have intrigued me yet. Okay, possibly one as an online friend because of his background in hypnosis. Iâ€™m still waiting for any man on there to knock my socks off. For the most part, I hit delete. The difference is, these men tell me they will feel fortunate if I respond at all but understand that Iâ€™m not required to and that my time is valuable Â and they hope I have a wonderful Â day with or without their presence. Thatâ€™s different.
So now I pick and choose Â people Iâ€™m interested Â in getting to know better. I donâ€™t answer every question Iâ€™m sent, either personal, Â social, or professional. When I do, itâ€™s because I genuinely like the person or would like to know them better. As for the others, thereâ€™s no requirement for me to answer. The only person saying I should is the one who gains from my time while I Â lose something. So Iâ€™m taking better care of myself and my time and directing it where I want it to go.
Iâ€™ve had several men (not the submissiveÂ boys from collarme!) write Â me a second or third time recently, demanding to know why I havenâ€™t responded to them. After all, they emailed me out of the blue and they deserve to know why Iâ€™m not interested in them. Iâ€™d say their second and third emails are confirmation of my intuitive response to their first emails. But I donâ€™t say anything. I hit delete or block them.
Why? Because Iâ€™ll correspond Â with whomever I wish to, and if I take the time to write, itâ€™s because thatâ€™s where I choose to focus my energy.