It happened again today. Somebody told me that the reason people keep asking me for help is because I keep saying, “Yes”. I was probably complaining about feeling overwhelmed or simply too busy.
Something similar happened when I was working in a restaurant as a busboy. I wanted to become a server but wasn’t being given the opportunity. One of the servers – the most senior of them – told me that the reason I wasn’t getting the chance was because I was doing too good a job as a busboy.
In high school, our Career and Life Management (CALM) teacher, who also happened to be a gym teacher, who was also the volleyball coach, who wore tracksuits to work every day, told us that if you want to get something done, give it to someone who is busy.
Am I so good at being busy that I keep saying, “Yes,” to people? Is this self-defeating because I’m busy enough to get things done so people keep asking me and I keep saying, “Yes”? Wouldn’t you expect that I’d know what’s going on?
It’s a strange predicament to be in. I’m not quite sure how to approach it, let alone change it for the better. More confusing, still, is when the people who are telling me that I have to learn how to say, “No,” do so during a conversation in which they ask me for something.
What are people seeing that I’m not? Am I not stopping to smell the roses because I’m too busy getting shit done for other people? I’m reluctant to ask someone to help me figure this out; they’re probably already busy and I wouldn’t want to burden them.