Oct 09 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
When I was a sophomore in high school, a classmate of mine enthusiastically called me on the phone one Friday night, “Hey, Molly, what are you doing this Saturday night?”
“Nothing,” I said, thinking I was about to be invited to a party or get-together.”
“Awesome,” she said. “Then will you babysit for me? I took this job with the Morgans, but I want to go to Trevor’s party.”
“Are you freakin’ kidding me?”
No, peeps, I didn’t take her babysitting job. I didn’t like the roundabout, manipulative way that she went about things. Had she had been forthright and asked me if I would do her a favor and take over her babysitting job, I probably would have said yes and made a few bucks in the process. But I hated being manipulated then, and I hate it now.
I don’t know anyone out there who doesn’t regret having been used in some way or the other. We’ve probably all had one too many situations when a person has taken advantage of our kindness. I appreciate the good people in my life, and I hope each and every one of them knows that. I try to say thank you often and go the extra mile to let people know just how special they are. It can take so little effort to make another person’s day by simply validating the things he or she does for you. A person doesn’t have to do you any special favors to make a big difference in your life. Special peeps make the world better by just being themselves.
There are some peeps I know who sadly are more at ease manipulating someone into a situation rather than just flat-out asking. I was at a party once when someone in my circle came up to me at three a.m. and said, “Molly, my car won’t start! Can you please give me a ride home?”
I felt terrible. I didn’t want her to be stranded in northern New Jersey at that hour. So, even though it was out of my way and very late, I agreed. As soon as we got on the turnpike, I asked her what she was going to do the next day to get her car home. Turns out that her car was home. It hadn’t started for three days and was sitting in her driveway. She got a ride to the party with someone who left hours before she was ready to go but thought she would ask me for a ride home at the end of the party, so I couldn’t possibly say no.
I was not cool with what she did, but because we had so many mutual friends, a year later, I invited her to a party at my home. No clue why she was sans vehicle that night, but again, she waited until the end of the night and this time announced, “Molly, I’m just gonna crash on your couch.”
“Uh, no,” I said. Cool peeps, you know the saying Fool me once…? Well, she had fooled me once. Not again. I didn’t like being manipulated and did not want her in my living room or hanging with my boyfriend and me the next morning. When I told her she couldn’t stay, she didn’t believe me at first. She kept pleading with me, but I didn’t budge. I could tell she wasn’t used to hearing no. She was masterful at painting people into a corner, but it wasn’t working with me. I hung tough, she called a cab, and I never saw her again.
I love doing favors for peeps, but I’ve had some outrageous things asked of me. Once, the bartender in a place I frequented explained to me that her telephone was cut off, and she needed to use my name/credit to open a new account. No freakin’ way. That same week, an acquaintance of mine called to ask me if I’d drive her and her out-of-town visitor into Manhattan. She didn’t even ask me to hang with them; she just wanted me to play free taxi. Another time, a brand-new coworker of mine asked me for a loan of $250 her first week on the job.
I’m a fair person. Anytime someone asks me something that I feel is outrageous, I always turn the situation around and ask myself: Would I ask that person the same favor? The response is always an overwhelming NO! I do that just to check myself to be sure I’m not being a hypocrite.
How about you, cool peeps? Do you have issues saying no to people? How do you deal with manipulative people who think they can get anyone to say yes? “Do you put them in their place? I would love to hear your stories.
See you next week,
Yours in pickiness,