Friday, October 31, 2014

Challenge #38: Stand Your Ground

This post has a lot to do with a big change coming my way that I promise I will blog about in the very near future.  I decided to make it the topic of a challenge because, from speaking with others on the subject, it seems that quite a few of us regularly find ourselves doing things for people that we shouldn't have to, or allowing those people to make us feel bad about not doing things if we actually said, apologetically, that no we could not.

Stand your ground.  It is a concept that is not always easy for me, because I am, by nature, a peace maker.  I try to avoid confrontation as much as possible.  But sometimes, in some areas, I have to clench my teeth and stand up for what I think needs to be done.  Because otherwise I am overworked,overburdened, overscheduled, and overstressed.  Which is no way to live life.

How about you?   Is there something that you've been dealing with that you'd rather not?  That, honestly, isn't really your problem?  NMC NMM is a very popular acronym these days: Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.  Meaning, this isn't mine to deal with, so I'm not going to own it or bother myself with it.

I hate to be cliche, so I personally avoid that widely used phrase.  I also hate it when people dodge personal responsibility and I think more than a few people spouting NMC NMM on a daily basis are using it to get out of things they should be doing,  should be owning up to.

But, in the past year, I find myself more and more looking at things people try to hand off to me and muttering under my breath "NMP" before attempting to hand it back to the person shoving it off on me. NMP being my own acronym for the words Not My Problem.

Co-worker can't find his car keys and will have to walk 2 miles to work? NMP.  It is not wrong of me to say "sorry, no" when my boss tells me I 'have' to go pick up said co-worker and deliver them to work on time (and possibly drive them home again at the end of their shift, which is not the same as my own shift).  It's not my problem that the co-worker might have to walk to work.  It is the problem of the co-worker, and of the boss who desires the co-worker to be there on time.

Sister-in-law who lives 30 miles away wants my daughter to stay at her home for four days and take care of sister-in-law's dogs while sister-in-law is out of town because she doesn't trust her own 17 year old son to properly take care of them, and my daughter declines because she has school and work to be at those four days (10 & 15 miles from home in the opposite direction of the 30 miles away that sister-in-law lives)?  NMP.  It is not wrong for me to tell sister-in-law that no, I will not 'make' my daughter come stay at sister-in-law's house (with the son that is one year OLDER than my daughter!!) to ensure sister-in-law's dogs are well cared for.  Dog care and the behavior of the 17 year old boy is the problem of the sister-in-law, not me.  Nor is it the problem of my daughter who, apparently even though she is a year younger than her cousin, is more reliable and responsible.

It has not been easy to get myself into the frame of mind to evaluate something and declare it NMP.  But now that I've learned to do so, standing my ground has become easier.

Try it.  Next time you feel yourself being pressured into tending to something you are in no logical way responsible for, tell yourself NMP.  Or NMC NMM if you prefer.  Then say no and stand your ground.

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