Clarification: When I write, I don't prepare or organize my ideas, I just write what I would say if I was talking to you in person, so sometimes my blogs end up a little messy. I don't even proof-read what I write before posting it so you may find grammatical mistakes and poorly written sentences. Sometimes I'll read my blogs a day or two after publishing them and I may re-write things that weren't too clear and any embarrassing grammatical mistake. Also, English is not my first language, so I apologize if reading my blogs become a struggle. Of course, if this is the case, I would imagine you wouldn't continue reading.

Dec 17, 2015

How To Be Considerate: Making Plans With Other People

  • When you make plans with other people, make sure you don't have anything going on that day and time.
  • Try to stick with the plans you've made, don't change the plans unless it's absolutely necessary.
  • Changing or cancelling plans last minute is a big no-no. Remember that other people's time is as important as yours. Cancelling plans last minute will most likely result in wasting people's time, and therefore, it's very rude. Only under very extraordinary circumstances this is acceptable. Unless you don't really care about the other person (which doesn't make it acceptable, but who cares, right?), but if that was the case, then you shouldn't be making plans with that person in the first place.
  • If you decide to change/cancel plans anyway, communicate this to the other person as soon as you have made that decision. Don't wait until the other person asks you about the plans.
  • If you discover that something more fun is going on at the same time, resist temptation as much as you can, remember to put yourself in the shoes of the people you made plans with. Changing plans to do something more fun, especially if it's done last minute, is particularly hurtful, rude, and selfish. Whether you mean it or not, the message you're sending is that you don't care or respect the people you made plans with.
  • If you have already canceled plans with someone before and this is a second (or third) time making plans with that person, be grateful and be careful. If you have read this far, then you should know that changing plans, changing plans last minute, or changing plans last minute to do something more fun, after a second or third attempt, is beyond hurtful and insulting. Considerate people avoid hurting other people, especially the ones who have been nice to us. Not hurting others is one of our most important goals.
  • If you decide to change plans and you DO care about the people you made plans with, remember to always apologize properly. A proper apology has three parts: 
  1. Say that you're sorry (if you're a considerate person you should feel something unpleasant inside, at least a slight discomfort, so this step shouldn't be too hard to remember).
  2. Take responsibility for your actions, don't blame others, it's OK to accept our faults, no one is perfect And...
  3. Try to make up for your fault. In our case, you should take it upon yourself to re-schedule the plans, that way the other person knows that you really care about them and that you actually do want to go through the plans that you just canceled. Ask the other person when they are available and express your desire to go through the plans, and if you can, expressing a little bit of remorse for having to changed plans and wasting their time is a good sign that you care about them.
  • If this is the second time that you have canceled or changed plans with someone, apologize again, and properly. If this is a third time, then properly apologize once again. Basically, every time you actions hurt, waste someone's time, or offend other people, you should apologize properly. Take in mind that apologizing properly means less and less each time. By itself, it won't show the other person that you appreciate or care about them if you are not able to "make it better" or make up for your fault(s).
  • If the other person is upset at you, it's OK, it's a natural human reaction when people get hurt, offended or taken for granted. Don't make the mistake to take it personal, be understanding. The other person, if they are still talking to you, probably just wants to go through the plans you made together but feels very frustrated and/or hurt. Don't avoid them, on the contrary, you should be the person reaching out to them. Letting them know that you are sorry (for having hurt them) and about your desire to go through the plans could help them feel better.
  • If you're going through an extraordinary situation that justifies all the cancellations and offenses, let them know about it right away (remember they can't read your mind). If you cannot disclose this information, then at least let them know that your situation is extraordinary, reaffirm that you are sorry, and try to go through the plans again in the near future, if this is possible and if the other person hasn't given up on you by then. 
I hope this step-by-step guide helps you to be a better, kinder, caring person. 

No comments: