Ask someone how they’ve been. When their response is “Busy”, how does that make you feel? “Ugh” about sums it up.
Ask an old friend to get lunch. When their response is “Busy”, how does that make you feel? Zero empathy about sums it up.
Ask your food delivery guy why it took him two hours. When his response is “Busy”, how do you feel? Still hungry and aggravated about sums it up.
Hearing someone has been busy or is busy or was busy might be the truth. But, when do you ever want to hear it?
Adding a “but”, however, on the end of the “Busy” softens the blow. “I’m busy, but good.” “I’m busy this week, but what about next week?” “We were super busy, but went as fast as we could and are really sorry to make you wait.”
Everyone gets busy. But if you must tell someone about it, make it “Busy, but.”
If someone offers to help you, you have two choices:
Take the help now
Decline, defer, or do nothing
This is obvious during interactions with strangers. A stranger might offer to hold the elevator for you now. That doesn’t mean you can expect them hold the elevator when you really need it.
It’s less obvious with acquaintances. An acquaintance might want to do lunch to talk about ideas that could help you and your new business. That doesn’t mean you can wait a few months to take her up on the offer. By then, she’s not excited to help you anymore.
It’s even less obvious with close friends. A close friend might offer to help. Declining their offer might be insulting to them. They’re just being a good friend.
So choice two seems pretty crappy, huh?
Take the time to accept offers for help. Even if it’s not a good time for you, there’s more to lose when you say, “Can we reschedule?”
Sweaty and out of breath, the athlete hit the “3” button. I hit “29”. As the elevator closed, my mouth opened. “Getting a lift two floors? Stairs must be broken!”
His response required him to hold the elevator door open a few extra seconds. Condescendingly, he said, “I workout seven days-a-week, two hours-a-day. You try that and take the stairs!”
Fair point. Here’s mine:
What if he cut back to 4 days per week for 30 minutes? Would he:
Be in nearly as good of shape
Have more time
Feel a lot happier and more energized
There is one drawback to my solution. He would no longer be able to tell neighbors in the elevator on his way to the third floor that he works out seven days-a-week, two hours-a-day. That would suck for everyone.