In the past few days, a reader named Bella has left comments on the post about how asking an introvert for an outrageous favor may make us hate someone, or of course a more accurate way of saying it would have been that we’d avoid someone. In Bella’s case, it is her own sister who asked an outrageous favor of her, and Bella would like to know what to do next time, since her sister totally ignored Bella’s straightforward statement that she will not be doing this again. Her comments and my responses are here.
We don’t know what Bella and her sister’s relationship is like otherwise, of course, but it looks to me like her sister is definitely not worried about inconveniencing Bella or even annoying her. So what would be a good way for Bella to get across once and for all that she does not plan to drive 30 miles each way daily whenever her sister takes a trip? I’m going to tell you my reaction as well as that of an ENTJ I asked, then I am asking you to leave comments below. One of us is going to come up with something that feels right to Bella.
My opinion: If this were a coworker or casual acquaintance, I’d indulge my instinct to avoid this person like the H1N1 for a while! I know that’s not the correct approach, but when someone treats me like that, I, an INFJ, really don’t want them around at all. But this is your sister, and I assume you want to keep a good relationship with her. Maybe it’s time for her to look at you in a new light though. If you can stand it until she goes on her next trip, have a nice time with her when you do things together, but then when she springs the cat sitting on you at the last minute, say calmly, “No, I’m afraid I won’t be able to.” That is all. You do not owe her any excuses, reasons, notes from doctors, anything at all. You’d already warned her, so here it is. Don’t be upset or snappish, just say it calmly. There are plenty of cat sitters out there as well as vets with boarding, and once she scrambles to find one once, this won’t happen again.
One ENTJ’s opinion: “I’d leave a big mound of cat food and big bowl of water so the cats would be OK, but I wouldn’t go back over there after once.”
We’ve all been in this position. Sometimes we are too damned nice! But why can’t we be our nice selves without pushy people running right through our boundaries? Maybe it’s time we conflict-hating introverts learn to take care of ourselves in a way that leaves us still speaking to everyone but commanding some common person-to-person respect, too. Readers?
Photo credit: tim eschaton