Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Making Others Decisions

This topic has been mulling around in my mind for a while. I don't know that this is the exact way I want to discuss it, but nevertheless here it is. My disclaimer is that this is not directed at any particular person or group-honest!

I will never understand when a person takes it upon themselves to make a decision for someone else. Here are two random examples:
  1. I'm not going to invite him to come with us because he can't afford it and I don't want him to feel bad.
  2. Let's don't invite her to lunch because she works during that time and probably can't take time off.
There's nothing terribly wrong with either of these ideas except that it is one person making another person's decision. There is a lot of assuming going on in both of these scenerios. To illustrate my point even more I want to share an experience my mom had a few years ago:

My dad has 8 siblings. One day his 3 sisters and a few sister-in-laws decided to have a women's retreat. All the sister and sister-in-laws were invited-except my mom-who lived in Oregon (the rest lived in Ut). It wasn't until a few weeks after the week long retreat that mother found out about it. She was extremely hurt that she wasn't invited. When she asked why they responded that they didn't think she could afford to fly to UT or leave the kids (8 of us at home) so they decided not to invite her at all. (I need to mention that one sister-in-law said she wouldn't have wanted to be invited if she couldn't afford to come because then she would just feel bad about it...the rest listened to her and my mom wasn't invited). After learning about this my mom was comforted that they didn't just forget about her, she was still very hurt. She would have much rather been invited and had the opportunity to say she couldn't come (whether because of money or kids or whatever). Instead that choice had been made for her.

I am of the same belief as my mom. I would much rather be invited, asked, etc. and have the opportunity to say no, then not be invited, asked,etc. at all. I realize there are those who belive otherwise.

I would like to hear how you feel about this topic?


Mooney said...

Like I was saying tonight... I'm gonna ask out whomever I wanna ask out. It ultimately matters very little whether they say yes or not. I'm gonna ask and leave it to them.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you on the topic of making other people's decisions for them. it's not right, and i would also rather have the opportunity to say no myself as well.

one thought (which i admit beforehand probably doesn't apply to your mom's situation, but is along the same lines as this post) is that i've found that in any circumstance where i feel that i continually fall victim, it has helped to examine myself. in this situation in particular i would ask, "how proactive am i?" "how often am i the one doing the planning and inviting?" "how often do i call others to see what is going on and get in on the action?" and start with the assumption and confidence that my friends/family really do want me to be wherever they are, but it may not occur to them to invite me since i am at work, school, etc. i would say that it is probably a rare occasion that i've ever actually been excluded purposely from anything, although i may have felt that way.

bishop haight has reminded us on a few occasions that "we are not people to be acted upon, but rather to act." this is something i definitely try to apply to my whole life, but my relationships in particular.

so this is a long thought, but hey- you asked! :)

Kyles said...

Julie, I concur. When we think like this..having an attitude of gratitude-giving those we care about the benefit of the doubt-becoming proactive in our relationships-we ourselves are much happier people! Thanks for that insight!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! You never really stop to think that your lack of inviting someone (because you know they have class or some other prearranged activity) could be viewed by them as a forgotten invite. Good reminder!

With that said, I know you're 2500 miles away, but do you want to come to my Disco Skate Birthay Extravaganza on Friday?

Tang Tang said...

Nat, I'm so there!

Which brings up another topic: committing to things you have no intention or ability to fulfill...hmm.

Yet I digress.
Great post, Ky. Perhaps sometimes human nature lends itself to forgetfulness and involuntary exclusion...many of us, having worked to become accepted and loved (if not then merely tolerated) by our peers see this fallacy of mortality as intentional disregard of our feelings or rejection in the whole friends department. Once we overcome that natural man that makes us think so, we see that it's often not the case. Even if it is, God bless that gift of agency we all have and use that lets us make our own choices, be hurt and forgive.

And there's nothing that a pie and pringles won't fix between friends, that's what I always say.

Yancy said...

i agree. In fact, I was just debating whether or not to invite someone to something because I know how busy they are and such...I decided I'd invite them and let them decide...then i read your post. :)