How do you say no???? I need to learn this. I am a people pleaser big time. I want to please everybody around me, be it at home or work or in the store or, well, all the time. I never say no. Most times it’s a good thing and I walk away feeling just a little taller or kinder or gentler. It’s my little self boost. But sometimes, I should just say no.
I was standing at the bus stop downtown to go the short two miles to my home on the lower northwest side of Spokane.
A gal was standing next to me with a couple large boxes at her feet. As the bus arrived she turned to me and in very broken English, in a strong Russian accent, asked if I would help her with one of her boxes. It was more of a command than a request. “You carry box,” pointing at the box and then at me, nodding her head once as if that would seal the deal. I thought nothing of it and lifted up one of the heavy boxes for her.
As we got close to my stop she again said, “You carry box,” along with the curt nod. I asked her when her stop was and she indicated the one right after mine, so I nodded back, once, and then watched as my bus went past my [perfectly good car parked in front of my perfectly good little house] on the way to the next stop.
We got off and she curtly ordered “Carry box” and “Follow.” And I followed. The box got heavier and heavier, my legs got more lead in them, I moved slower and she hustled down the side street, her box on her head, marching resolutely along, every now and then curtly stating “Come.” She was plainly disappointed in my lack of speed. So there we went, a little mini-parade, marching down another side street back around the block until we were exactly across (but two blocks away) from my house.
I would have gladly driven her and her boxes from my house to hers. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t ask. Except for the fact that she probably assumed that since I was taking the bus I did not have a car. Probably a real luxury from where she lived in the Ukraine.
Made me think how we take for granted our material possessions while people from other cultures might consider them precious luxuries that few have.