harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

ASK vs GUESS Cultures

I totally love this "friends of friends" feature in LJ, because I run into so many amazing things that I probably would never stumble across on my own (see Spock/Pie last entry). Plus, it's just a swell way to spend the night in between my job responsibilities (but let's just keep that part quiet).

So, first I want to direct you to this post over at eowyn_315's page (Stormwreath, excepted)....

And then I want to answer - I'm very much a member of the 'guesser' culture. I will very rarely ask anyone anything if there is anyway around it. I don't know why since I'm so much more obnoxious and opinionated since I passed the 30 mark, but still it is true - I don't want to be a burden.

*rolls eyes*

I know. Asking for something has never made anybody a burden in the history of ever (Isn't that why we say, "it never hurts to ask"?) but I still feel this hideous need to not bother anyone by putting anyone in the position of having to say "no" to my request or causing them to be inconvenienced by saying "yes" or to cause them to feel like they have to say "of course" even though I'm always convinced that they don't want to say that, but feel like they have to for politeness' sake.

Part of this (as with everything, I'm sure) is rooted in childhood. The exact mechanics elude me, but I think I just had an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for seeing to it that everything ran smoothly for everybody around me to the point of not wanting to add to any other life-stuff they were already dealing with. This may have started around the time that my younger brother started to have a lot of trouble in school and had almost nightly fights and arguments with my mother about homework, but it's hard to really pin it down. I do know that this feeling of thinking it's my job to - if not keep everyone happy then to at least not add to their worries- has carried over into my adult life. I basically cannot delegate anything that might be difficult or time consuming to somebody else, even if I really don't have time to do it myself. Which will explain why I have never applied for, nor expressed interest in, being in a supervisory role - I also can't tell anyone what to do, let alone ask them to do something for me.

What does that have to do with this asker/guesser culture? It goes back to 'being a bother'. By asking somebody for something or to take an action on your behalf, you're basically asking them to take responsibility for something which you should be doing by/for yourself.

Now, that hasn't stopped me of course. Sometimes, you need help and there is just nothing to do but to seek out somebody who can give you the assist. But, I loathe doing it - which means I end up not asking until things have become much more serious than they would have been if I hadn't been so reticent about asking for the help in the first place. And, I will literally spend hours over the next several days second guessing about whether I should have asked and whether they really didn't want to do whatever and maybe I should call them tomorrow and tell them that I changed my mind and they don't actually have to do mentioned whatever because by now I've convinced myself that I'm being a complete pain-in-the-ass.

No wonder insomnia is a constant companion....

So, I'm definitely of the "guesser" culture - unwilling to ask for something, unless I already know that they'll do it and even then I'm hating every second of having to put the person out over whatever it is I'm asking for.

Would that be neurotic?

Tags: me, meme, opinion

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