Green River Star -

By STEPHANIE THOMPSON
People Editor 

Ask, don't demand

 

February 28, 2018



The old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” is something that still resonates with me.

It’s also something I wish other people would remember when they are approaching me for a favor.

Like most people, I don’t like people demanding that I do something for them. If you really want me to do a favor for you, would it kill you to ask nicely?

I just don’t understand where the simple common courtesies such as “please and thank you” are going. It seems as though those are thrown right out of the window.

Just because I have always volunteered before, doesn’t necessarily mean I will want to keep doing it. I especially do not want any part in something that has been demanded of me, which happened recently.

Just this past week, I was forcefully handed a sign up sheet and told what to sign up for and when it should be at the location.

“Excuse me?” is probably the look I had on my face, but apparently this didn’t translate to the person asking because she proceeded to hand me a pen.

I wanted to crinkle up the sign up sheet and hand it back or I should have just told her to find someone else, but once again I caved in and politely took the pen and signed up for the item she requested, all the while being irritated about it especially when I saw there were other things that still needed someone to sign up to bring.

I figured maybe she was just trying to be nice because she knows how busy I am, but still she should have asked me nicely. She should not have demanded me to do something.

So it was with great irritation that I searched my pantry for the item requested and was happy I didn’t have to go to the store in a snow storm to buy it. My irritation continued as I dropped the item off.

Obviously, it’s still bothering me today.

I just don’t understand where the disconnect is coming from. If this person would have politely asked me to bring one of the three items remaining open on the list, I would have done so with a better attitude, but since I was asked rudely it carried over to me being upset about it. Or if she could have politely asked me to bring the particular item, I would have done so without being put off.

While I’m on the subject, I will also explain how sometimes it’s not what is said, but how one says it that makes a big difference. I am constantly irritated at how cruel people can be to each other by how they say things. I remember learning this in school.

I can still recall how one of my teachers wrote a sentence on the chalk board and how she explained that the meaning of the sentence could change based on how one emphasized a different word in the sentence.

As the class practiced the sentence, we quickly realized that how one says something can really change its meaning.

The person making the request of me either wasn’t taught this or doesn’t know how she’s coming across to others.

It is with this short story that I am encouraging others to think before they speak and to think about how what they say might be perceived by the other person, especially when asking someone for a favor.

 

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