my strategy isn’t working.

December 17, 2007 at 8:19 am (community)

for a while now, i’ve been trying to counter the irresponsibility of my friends and community by organizing more effectively. since the interest shown in my workshops and events was not being translated into support or even attendance, i tried to pin a few people down, to ensure beforehand that, if nothing else, the culmination of my hard work would not be me, bored and frustrated, sitting alone in a room. again. it’s happened so many times, and every one eats that little bit more out of my organizing capacity, my self confidence and my faith in humanity. is all of humanity this enthusiastic but fickle? i don’t know, but i’m finding little around me to suggest anything else.

so after six in a row of these highly anticipated workshops a while ago – some my girlfriend of the time showed up for, which helped with the boredom but not the more serious frustration – i decided to only run things when someone else has decided the date. that way, at least that person could be relied on. but no. i ran my generally very popular rubber and latex workshop at a particular time for my housemate, and she forgot about it. she expected me to remind her. my recent tap workshop got four rsvps but only one showed up to dance, and it wasn’t the friend who had asked me to run it. she had warned me a couple of hours early that she was stuck at work and didn’t know when she’d make it, but that’s the last i’ve heard from her. now the sewing day i organized to catch up with an old friend will hopefully go ahead with at least a few people, but she will be absent, and has sent me several eight am text messages working up to this fact. after a month or two of planning but the date being set less than a week ago.  some solutions include postering king st, sending out reminders and charging fees – beforehand. these would possibly all help, but they raise the workload considerably, and they’re all unpalatable tasks for me. i could do it all if i had someone to help, but finding that, while single, is even harder. i need something else.

couple all this with careful management of a friendship with someone i know is only coming to grips with the concept of reliability, and random issues like coffee with a friend cancelled due to migraine – though with a day’s notice no less! – and it’s all a bit much. these problems are natural and absolutely understandable – in isolation. but when the trend nears a hundred percent, there’s something seriously wrong.

i was talking about this with someone recently. we talked of travelers and demanders. i am a traveler – i go to other people, they don’t come to me. i make allowances, i try to organise. i tell people that there will always be another time. i’m afraid that if i don’t, i won’t see the people i want to see, who i consider to be my friends, and i’ll be lonely again. it might be extreme but it’s not entirely untrue, i have been very lonely in my life.

i have always resisted wanting to be a demander. the term i found reflects how i feel about the role, but i can’t see a middle ground, and i’m sick of doing that much traveling. i need to look after myself, i want to be valued for what i myself value.

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1 Comment

  1. Anna Aniston said,

    I think that you can be both a traveller and a demander – to swap roles occaisionally. Let some people come to you. Accept that people are drawn to you, because you are wonderful, valuable, special.

    You just need to notice.

    As for people not coming to your workshops… most people are assholes some of the time. Some people do genuinely care about you, though. Even though they may be assholes sometimes. Some people just commit too much, and some people actually feel bad about getting something for nothing.

    I think we all
    have to learn the difference between the ones worth putting up with, and the ones not worth putting up with.

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