Tuesday, February 09, 2010


A very good friend of mine has often told me "It is easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission." I'm not sure it's true. AND it is not a great way to maintain relationships. People want input. They figure if you care about them, they should have knowledge ahead of time.

Which raises the question, how much input does who get in what? I don't live in a vacuum. My actions affect others.

I'm not married. So I don't need to get permission to go on a trip. BUT, I have animals, so I have to make arrangements for them to be cared for. How much input should the friends I normally ask to do this for me have in the planning process? I mean, they could just say no if it's inconvenient, and I could ask somebody else. . . but I generally don't and they generally don't. So how much sharing is appropriate?

Or I am going to visit my folks. I know that there are other people I'm going to want to see, and who are going to want to see me. Do I need to call ahead and clear the dates with them? If I don't, do they have the right to be pissed because I "knew" they'd want to know and I didn't tell them?

If I know someone is interested, but not involved, should I share?

I don't know. If I share, they'll give opinions (as is their right) and advice (generally very good) and want to discuss things. But if I don't take the advice, they will get annoyed. (I say this from personal experience. I mean, if I give this great advice, and you don't listen, it's REALLY hard not to say 'I told you.' Unhelpful as it is, that's human nature.)

I dunno. That's life I suppose. Like Sargeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes has the mantra "I see nothink, I know nothink" my mantra is "I dunno." (Actually, I think my mantra may actually be "Oh sh**.") All I can do is the best I can do. Most of the problems I've had with people were because of expectations. I had them and they didn't meet them. Or they had them and I didn't meet them. Most of the time it isn't even deliberate. I (and they) just blunder along doing the best we can. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking through a crowded room blindfolded and being told "Don't step on anyone's toes." And sometimes I'm just contrary enough to say "SCREW IT." Not helpful. But truth. Of course afterward I feel like a heel and an ass. . .

Again with the mantra(s) "Oh sh**. I dunno."


Suzette said...

I like that mantra.

Tammy said...

This is no help Cie, but if you ever figure out the answer to how much information someone else actually wants please let me know, PLEASE!!

My way of doing it is, I look at it in reverse - Do I want to know this or that, and if I would, then I'll tell the other person - sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

Dolly said...

I like your mantra. I lived away from close relatives for over 20 years and then moved to the same town. What an eye opener. I wasn't used to letting anybody know anything. Now, well, let's just say that doesn't work very well anymore.

I try to give as little info as possible and let them deal with it. My favorite saying is "screw it". Take me as I am, I'm too old to change some things. I have other stuff to worry about....lol