So the following email arrived in my inbox the other morning:
Hey Icarus, you haven't responded to any of my invitations lately. Let me know if you want me to stop sending them to you. When you don't reply, it gives me the impression that you don't see any value in my invitations, and it that's true, then I'd rather save you the time and me the effort and just not include you on the distribution list.
My first thought was to send a response saying "I'm sorry you are such a complete doink and I need to lower my expectations regarding any future dealings with you accordingly."
Instead I took some time to Flip the Script and look at it from her point of view. Is it possible that I really did offend her? I did blatantly ignore the invitation and did not feel the need to send either a "thanks but not interested" or "would but I'm too busy" email? The wording of the invitations said to let this person know IF I was interested. My informal and totally unscientific survey (I asked two different people) shows that most people will assume if you don't answer an email, you either aren't interested or are too busy to partake of said activity anyway.
Personally, I don't like this approach and avoid it but IIFC I was legitimately busy around the time of said invitation.
- Internalizing everything,
- Conceding nothing, and
- Keeping meticulous score.
She would prefer you provide the details of why you can't make it;
Saying you might be able to make it is permitted, but, it always makes Monica feel like you were holding out for a better offer.
So let's review:
- If Monica invites me to something, and I have definite plans, I have to tell her what I'm choosing over her. That will set her off.
- If I have tentative plans that might get canceled or postponed, I can say I might be able to make it, but that will also upset her.
The really sad news is, we created this monster. All these years of taking the path of least resistance and not calling Monica out on her behavior has given her license to act the way she does.