Note: If you are a Weight Loss Wednesday gal, please click here to locate our cyber accountability group now called His Weigh Wednesdays and lead by Lindsey Feldpausch. New comers always welcome!
ALSO: GIVEAWAY ALERT!! Visit here Friday when I’ll be offering a giveaway in conjunction with my Proverbs 31 sister Renee Swope. My book The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized will be featured on her site and we are both offering giveaways based on it. Two chances to win!!!
So last time, we chatted about knowing when to let God divert us from our ‘plan A’ ( our ‘to-do’ list for the day) to His ‘plan B’. These are those times that He sends a sick child, a hurting friend, a lonely neighbor or a needy relative to us.
However, the trouble is…how can you tell it is always God?
What about those people in our lives (we all have them) who are habitually ‘needy’; not because they are in a tough stage of life or have an illness or tragedy they are dealing with, but because the have, well…’situations’.
You know situations that they themselves have created.
They are in crisis due to a lack of planning on their part and now have a fire to put out. Now, they could do the hard work of putting out their own self-made fire but instead, they call the local fire department: YOU!!
Or perhaps they come to you out of laziness.
(I once had a woman call me for a phone number; one I knew she had in the church directory just as I did. When I told her the number she was seeking was clearly listed there, she said, “I know. But I’m in the basement and it is on the second floor. Can’t you just go get yours and read it to me?” She never asked how far I was from my church directory. I was one floor away.)
Being a person who for much of my life has been addicted to the approval of others, this has been a great source of headaches and heartaches for me.
People call with their crisis.
They dump their crisis in my lap.
Their crisis now becomes my crisis.
I happily (most of the time) rescue them.
But behind the scenes, I fuss and fume and stress myself plum out.
All over something THAT I NEVER CAUSED!!!!
So what’s a gal to do?
I have some thoughts, but would like to hear yours too.
One thing a wise mentor and friend told me was to use the phrase “Help me to understand…”
As in “Help me to understand why, when you forgot to make cookies for tonight’s PTA meeting, I should have to switch days with you an hour before the meeting? I don’t have time to make treats today or I would have signed up for today!” (Said with kindness and a smile, of course!)
I’ve also gotten caller ID on my phone. BIG help there. If someone calls who I know will expect me to interrupt my day and resuce them right now, I can return their call.
I also have been told by a few straight-shooting, caring friends that I am an easy mark. “You come across as so friendly, inclusive, approachable and helpful. (Good…good. I think God wants us to be that way.)
So, women feel they can ask you to do them a favor or even do their work for them. But in reality, you are doing them no favor by rescuing them. You are enabling them to continue to be needy, lazy (ouch!) and overly dependent on others rather than on God. Actually Karen, at that point, you aren’t being a very good friend. You are being a bad one.”
I don’t want to be a bad friend.
How about you?
Okay…so let us know: How do you handle people who habitually ‘suck your time’ (as my husband calls it)? (He tells me often, “Honey, if you aren’t intentional in filling your time, there are dozens of people out there willing to fill it for you!”)
Oh, and feel free to comment anonymously.
I don’t want one of your friends calling you and saying….”were you referring to me?”
Oh well… I guess you could always check your caller ID before you answered, right?