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To feel like I am punished for being organised?

(84 Posts)
brassick Thu 25-Nov-10 13:14:14

I seem to be surrounded by inefficient and disorganised people.

And because I am organised, I get put upon to help out other people.

For example, my stepmum has been asking me for ideas for my children for Christmas. That's absolutely fine and I am happy to help, but every time I go back with clear and definitive lists, I get more and more questions. Then she starts asking me about my sister-in-law's preferences.

Then my sister-in-law texts asking for ideas for my children and my dad and stepmum. Again, help given, followed by more questions.

My sister-in-law actually told me off for not telling her I was going to be giving her her dd's presents to put away for Christmas when they visited a couple of weeks ago. Apparently while I was wrapping them, I should have thought "hmmm, wonder if SIL has thought of this, perhaps I should let her know"

Next I go to choir, and my friend says "I've lost all of my Christmas books, can you photocopy all of the relevant pieces for me" hmm. We're not talking a 2 minute job here - it will take me at least an hour to scan each page in and then print it out for 5 or 6 pieces.

And it goes on and on. If I forget someone's birthday it is seen as a slight. If my disorganised siblings remember, it is celebrated for years.

My life is extremely busy, I work full time in a job where my role is to organise everyone in the office, I am currently studying for a diploma by distance learning, I have 2 very busy dds who take part in many activities. I am a member of two choirs and on the committee for both. I manage to keep on top of things in my house and my life.

Because I am able to do this for myself, why should I also be expected to do it for other people who can't be bothered?

I had to sit there in choir the other night repeating in my head "other people have other qualities, they are not worse, just different" so I wouldn't just stand up and start randomly screaming...

<<and breathe>>

Apologies for the rant, feel a little better now...

Kniternator Thu 25-Nov-10 13:17:32

I am the same, especially with the PTA and work, I end up doing the work of others just because I am organised and complete things by deadlines and it appears they cannot.

I am learning to make excuses and actually say no to the things I am asked to do.

Just say no! You'll feel much better and smug that you are beautiful and organised.

BonniePrinceBilly Thu 25-Nov-10 13:18:03

just say no then.

Bonsoir Thu 25-Nov-10 13:20:12

Just say no.

Am also über-organised and it looks to outsiders as if I am always on top of everything and must, therefore, owe them some of my spare time.

brassick Thu 25-Nov-10 13:20:25

Yes, and the people who do things badly never get asked again, whereas if you do things well, you just get more put on you...

Someone said to me yesterday "I thought your dd2 was really organised" I soon pointed out to her that the only thing organised about dd2 is her mother.

And people always seem amazed that you're able to do things that really aren't that difficult - like write down a list so you don't forget things, or keep a diary updated...

Maybe I should start offering classes.

AgentZigzag Thu 25-Nov-10 13:22:02

You sound like you live up to the saying 'if you want something done, give it to a busy person'.

The only person who can do something about it is you, like Knit says, start saying no. You don't have to be rude about it, or say why you can't do it, think of some ambiguous lines you can trot out and be persistent.

It sounds as though people know you are the type of person who can help them out, which is really nice, but there's a difference between that and them taking advantage and not bothering as they know you'll be there to pick up the slack.

brassick Thu 25-Nov-10 13:22:18

I unfortunately have the guilt thing, so find it hard to say no. And it seems ungracious when it's linked to things like presents etc.

I have learnt to pace myself with what I offer to take on, there's many little things needing doing for the choirs which I am capable of doing, but just don't have the time for.

blackcurrants Thu 25-Nov-10 13:22:36

YANBU to be angry about it. YAB a bit of a mug to keep doing things for people. Start saying "sorry, don't have the time" with a biiig smile.

marriednotdead Thu 25-Nov-10 13:24:02

There's a fine line between ultra organised and control freak. I fight not to cross it sometimes and wonder if you are the same?

Saying no is very empowering as long as you can accept that your way is not the only one.

Choose to refuse grin

Kniternator Thu 25-Nov-10 13:24:59

Guilt is a wasted emotion, and takes up your time aswell.

brassick Thu 25-Nov-10 13:27:27

Oh yes, I freely admit I am a borderline control freak, and cross that border often...

I am glad I am organised, I couldn't bear to live my life in disorder and confusion.

Just infuriating when other people think that my life is so easy because I am organised. I WORK HARD TO BE THIS WAY...

ComingDownTheChimmley Thu 25-Nov-10 13:30:08

just say no

it's tricky at first to be assertive

AgentZigzag Thu 25-Nov-10 13:31:24

And if you're finding it difficult to be assertive, be aggressive smile

bran Thu 25-Nov-10 13:32:13

Either say "no" or develop selective crapness. You can 'forget' to copy the stuff for your friend, take plenty of time replying to emails etc. Give the impression of being generally forgetful to cover for times when you do genuinely forget.

I find that now and then saying things like "honestly, I'm so daft/forgetful sometimes" or "I just never seem to get on top of everything" makes an impression on people even if it's not true. It stops me being the first point of call when they want something done.

It's not that you don't want to help people, it's just that you would rather they try to help themselves before coming to you.

brassick Thu 25-Nov-10 13:36:29

I recognise as well that I have a need to be seen as on top of things...my worst fear is that people think I'm crap.

See, I'm my own worst enemy is the bottom line...

Wouldn't blame you for telling me to get a grip!

albertcamus Thu 25-Nov-10 13:38:25

YANBU at all. I am super-efficient at work, with a result that my boss who is highly dyspraxic, uses me to organise far more than I am responsible for. Much as I like him, it does wear me down. I am usually weeks ahead of other people purely through graft and OCD about not going home until I have dealt with everything humanly possible. Net result = exhaustion (mainly mental but also sometimes physical), being taken for granted by the powers that be, and now feeling guilty that this week I have adopted a zero-tolerance attitude and have not been my usual co-operative self. They now think that I have home / hormonal / external problems, never wondering for a minute whether it could be their own incompetence that has caused me to pull back a bit this week and not do everybody else's jobs for them !

Hassled Thu 25-Nov-10 13:38:59

I think learning how to say "no" is an undervalued skill. It's a lot easier to say yes, but then your issues become self-perpetuating. I've discovered the joys of saying "no" only recently - am a lot better off for it.

MiraArte Thu 25-Nov-10 13:54:34

Message withdrawn

Litchick Thu 25-Nov-10 14:06:47

Can I ask you efficient ladies what you do when things change constantly and often at the last minute.

I often try to get organised, only ti receive a hospital pass at the last second. So my plans were pointless and go to pot and I get disheartened.

EG this week I made a note of what activities the kids were doing after school, which buses they would be on, who would pick them up. But now I've received an email saying drama is not on tonight...best laid plans.

abr1de Thu 25-Nov-10 14:10:49

I cultivate, no, make that ingratiate myself, with any other women who have children in the same schools as my two, and do LOADS of favours, in the hope that I can ring them up in an emergency and ask for help.

I so hear you all about the disorganised people wanting the organised to sort them out.

Just say no has helped me get out of all kinds of things this year. I don't seem so worried about seeming selfish.

SeaTrek Thu 25-Nov-10 14:19:57

Ah - 'the curse of the competent woman'.

After many gripes about this topic with a friend we both decided to do as abr1de said and simply say no or become vague or simply lie. It really does work a treat.

I do stil help people out and do favours but I won't step-in as far as I did. In the longrun it really doesn't do anyone any favours.

Litchick Thu 25-Nov-10 14:21:53

Abride - I do lots of lift shares/reciprocal drop offs etc, so I can sort tonight out, but it feels like there was no point making the original arrangements iyswim cos I've had to let down one person now and beg a favour from another at the last moment.

Then there are the HP tickets I booked for Sunday and DD has been asked to go in to school to help make sets for the new production.

And I designated Monday xmas shopping day, but I've been asked to work now.

I feel like a leaf blowing in the wind.

brassick Thu 25-Nov-10 14:24:50

Yes, dd2 came home last night and said she had been asked to take part in a concert for the local chapel.

Luckily it falls into a "slot" that isn't already filled with one of her or dd1's activities hmm

But we are running out of available time...something's going to clash soon, and there's another source of guilt - how do you choose?

Litchick Thu 25-Nov-10 14:37:32

It is horrible when there is a clash and someone has to suffer.
I try to dole out the pain fairly.
Last week I couldn't watch DD sing after school becuase I had to pick up DS.
This week DS will have to miss football practice.

WowOoo Thu 25-Nov-10 14:44:10

Hassled is right. It's a skill.

It is so tricky to draw that line between politeness and bluntness/ rudeness. Also I feel guilty if i know I could actually help someone and have just told them i can not.

But, I have to tell myself that it's OK to be selfish sometimes.

I got annoyed with friend last week 'But you enjoy doing stuff like this'.

Well, actually I do when it benefits my family, the favour is reciprocated or genuinely needed as a one off.

Don't we have enough to feel guilty about?

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