Daily Post:Volunteer

Although there are numerous benefits to volunteering, there can also be downfalls. Here are a few I’ve run into:

  1. Saying yes too much and getting taken advantage of in the process: There is definitely a fine line between trying to be nice, and taking ownership of responsibilities (on a regular basis) that really belong to someone else. If I’m not getting paid to do your job, I really don’t want too. Manipulators are really skilled at guilting people into taking on tasks they themselves would not want to do. We all have the same twenty-four hours in the day, and I’ve come to realize my time is just as valuable as everyone else’s.
  1. Volunteering to do something I really don’t want to do, and then getting angry later because I am overwhelmed: At times it’s better to say yes to myself,  by saying NO to others. I also no longer feel the need to justify a no. Saying NO should be reason enough unless I feel like I want to elaborate on it. I usually don’t. I love that sign that states your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part.
  1. Someone else volunteering ME without consent: Some people have a problem with boundaries and it’s a good idea to say no sometimes (even IF I can say yes), if this becomes a pattern. Manipulators are skilled at catching a person in a weak moment, just to coerce the yes. If the yes didn’t come out of my lips directly, I reserve the right to say no at all times. This situation always lends itself to an easy out.
  1. While it is not my nature to automatically say yes to everything asked of me, I have gotten caught up with making a decision based on emotion when it comes to those I really care about.  In my haste I have said yes too fast, forgetting other important obligations. My heart was in the right place when I volunteered,  and now I have to let someone down that I really didn’t want to disappoint.

I’ve found a simple solution to these challenges.  I wait twenty-four hours before giving an answer, sometimes forty-eight, even IF I think it is doable. That gives me time to check my schedule so that I can remain a person of my word. If the person needs to have an answer in that moment and can’t wait, my response is that it is a definite no if I can’t have enough time to make an informed decision.  Volunteering is great, but personal obligations should be factored into the equation so that a positive event agreed upon for the right reason, does not become a stressful experience for all parties involved.

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2 thoughts on “Daily Post:Volunteer

    • Agreed! I’m not sure what makes others the expert on my time. I’m fine with suggesting someone check with me to see if I’m interested, or better yet, checking with me in private and passing on the interested parties info so I can follow up.

      Liked by 1 person

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