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Why am I always the one organising everything?

(17 Posts)
DickWhittingtonsCat Wed 11-May-05 09:57:49

I am questioning a lot of things at the moment. I have realized that if I have a crisis, eg sudden illness, or get so fed up that I ring friends or family and cry (say twice a year), then my friends and family are wonderful and rally around. However, putting on a crisis show when things are actually fine, is something I don't want to do. On a daily basis, I am always the one who organises all our social meetings, suggests interesting things to do and see, and in fact there is no area of my life at all in which I ever get to be passive or reactive. This is the same with my parents, old female friends, newly-acquired female friends, work colleagues, and also men with whom I go on dates. In fairness, ds sometimes takes the initiative by suggesting things to do, games to play, saying sweet things to me, and so on. Normally people thank me a lot for organising social activities, and, as I said, they are there for me in a crisis. I don't want to go around acting all needy and clingy, but I am sick of no one ever making a fuss of me, or suggesting evenings out to me, or inviting me around to their house for a change. I talked to Mum about this, and she said, you can't change the way you are, it isn't your style to be disorganised and needy, and friends who aren't as organised appreciate what you do. She then asked me to go out on Friday evening with her, which was nice.

koalabear Wed 11-May-05 10:21:42

perhaps if you stopped doing it so much, they might notice

sometimes people rely on you doing it, because they know you will

Lizzylou Wed 11-May-05 10:27:19

Your Mom sounds lovely!

Nat777 Wed 11-May-05 12:53:20

Was quite odd reading what you have said as it sounds so similar to me and I do get annoyed at being expected to orangise things also. But it doesnt bug me all of the time.

I organise everything at home with DP and pretty much everything in my social life and friends social lifes, but this is because I enjoy it and am now pretty good at it (if I do say so myself!!)

Do try to take it as a compliment as you obviously have very good organisational skills! But if it really is causing you to get wound up/upset, you will have to say something to the people involved as they will only continue doing it otherwise!

KBear Wed 11-May-05 13:03:47

I'm a bit like you. I organise everything and wonder why no one organises anything for me. I have come to realise there are leaders and there are followers. My DH is happy to go along with everything I organise for our family , my friends always turn up when I say "let's go out". My best mate would never go anywhere unless I dragged her - she is a home bird and I am wanderer! I think enjoy the fact that you organise events that people obviously enjoy and if you're doing too much, back off a bit and make some time for yourself.

bibiboo Wed 11-May-05 13:39:41

Your post could have been written about me and dh. We have countless arguments about me being the decision maker and him being the decision accepter if that makes sense.
I have yet so find a remedy for this, so have no advice for you other than congratulate yourself for being the "do-er" and not the "taker" in your relationships.

ninah Wed 11-May-05 13:45:56

Well as the first 'follower' to post on this thread I am conscious that I have friends who organise things, I let them, I am hugely appreciative and I will try and do more in return.

flum Wed 11-May-05 13:48:33

everyone else is just lazy. i am. have a few motivated friends who organise things. i do throw parties - and invite everyone I know, coz i like to see the melting pot of aristocrats and chavs shimmying up together.

but otherwise I can't be ar*sed. I'm pretty useless in a crisis though too.

flum Wed 11-May-05 13:49:39

my mum is one too, always meddling and trying to get us to actually do stuff. we just want to kick back and chill out. my dp and I are both passive (idle) we love it.

bossykate Wed 11-May-05 13:51:25

i am rather like you, dwc, and like you i get fed up of it sometimes - i agree with your mum, some people are born organisers and some are born, er, passengers.

KBear Wed 11-May-05 14:03:44

Flum - "the melting pot of aristocrats and chavs shimmying up together" - your parties must be a hoot.

Listmaker Wed 11-May-05 14:22:13

DWC - I'm just like you too and sometimes I wish someone would just phone me up and tell me where to be at what time! But as others have said you just have to accept that some people are organisers and some are not. When I have expressed the desire not to always be the organiser people are shocked because they assume you love it. Sometimes I do but other times it's all too exhausting!

Now I work more I do less organising of friends for meet ups in the day and we never see each other which is a shame but I can't keep doing it all!

My new bf is taking me a away for a night for my birthday soon and I don't know anything about it (he had to tell me so I could organise childcare)and it's going to be such a treat! I think he's surprised that I don't nag more for details so I had to point out that I don't HAVE to organise everything - despite appearances!

Sorry not much help really. I sometimes wish I could be a bit more vulnerably and needy but as you say you can't put it on and it's just not you!

You sound like a great person - remember you from the dating thread (how's that going btw?!). So concentrate on all your good points!

wordsmith Wed 11-May-05 14:27:06

I used to be like this - I would organise everything, just jump in first and do it. It suddenly struck me when I was out for dinner with a group of friends that - hey - I didn't have to be the one to get my calculator out and organise payment when the bill came. So I just sat on my hands and resisted the urge to take charge.... and someone else did it. So now, when I don't want to organise something, i don't, and I often suggest to friends going on some sort of outing or whatever and end with the phrase, "So, who's going to organise it?" Someone always says "I will!"

DickWhittingtonsCat Fri 13-May-05 09:40:47

Thank you for your messages. I think you are right, that I will have to resign myself to the fact that some, valuable, friends are really "passengers", and don't display as much initiative as I would like. I am relieved to see that things are not as bad as they might be; once I have initiated something I don't have to hold my friends' hands all the way through - and I don't have any friends who can't do their own maths!

mogwai Fri 13-May-05 22:58:31

Agree with Wordsmith - I've taken the same approach and it works wonders, even though it can be a bit frustrating watching other people trying to work out how to organise something when you can see the clearest possible way ahead (sounds very self important, don't mean it to be).

I used to work in a clinic where nobody ever remembered to bring milk. I used to bring a little tupperware bottle of milk to eat cereal at lunchtime, but I found people were always "borrowing" my milk cos they had forgotten to bring their own. Suffice to say I rarely had enough left for cereal. One day I just blew up and said "what am I? The clinic cow?" (alluding the the fact I brought the milk). They brought milk after that

DickWhittingtonsCat Mon 16-May-05 10:06:08

Thanks, wordsmith and mogwai, but I think that my friends are different from yours. They do organise things themselves, but what sometimes gets me down is more subtle - being the one who always has to have the idea in the first place. I have tried withdrawing and not making suggestions, and all that happens is that we don't meet, and when I eventually get in touch, they are full of regret, and apologies for being too busy/ disorganised to have arranged anything. None of my friends is inept - they all have busy lives as working parents - but some of them are not very good at getting around to investigating what is on, what new restaurants are open, what new things there are to do, and so on. Eg, one friend kept asking me to come and visit but never suggesting a date, which left me wondering if it was a real invitation. Finally, I said we wanted to come on a particular date, and that we could get tickets for a show at a particular place, and I had various ideas of how we could spend the weekend, and she said we were most welcome and she would get the tickets on her way to work, and we had a great time visiting her. She was extremely hospitable. It would have been sweeter for me to get a fully-planned invitation from her for a set date, but OTOH she has lots of things going on in her life other than being my friend! There are some people with whom it is "worth" accepting that they are not the initiator, and others (less interesting friends!) whom I "drop" when this happens again and again. I think that issues with work colleagues are rather different, because it is in my own interests not to do other people's jobs for them, and also not to fall out with them.

mogwai Thu 19-May-05 19:25:52

yes, DWC, the example I gave was one in the workplace, but the problem you have of being the organiser is exactly the same one I have, it irritates me in the same way.

I guess that, being one of life's organisers, that makes us dynamic people, and in being dynamic, we are aware of what's on at the theatre and where a new restaurant has opened before everyone else. Perhaps you need a higher level of stimulation than some of your friends?

I'm sure my friends don't mean to take advantage, but being the organiser often feels that you are, and actually sometimes I think people are just lazy and it's easier for them to let YOU do it. For example, I had some friends to stay over and they parked their cars on my drive (three cars). Mine was wedged in at the back.

We went to the bus stop to wait for a bus down into town, but having waited 20 mins I called a cab firm who told me the buses were on strike. They were mad busy and couldn't send a cab, so obviously one of us would have to drive. I bet you can guess the rest of the story....there I am doing all the organising, hosting them to stay overnight, and yes, when I announced we would have to drive, there was no response, so I ended up getting my car from the back of the drive. They all had to move their cars to allow me to get mine out. It was ridiculous.

I'd drop some of these friends, but they come as a group, we've known each other for years.

SO now I'm falling into the "no response" group and learning to live with awkward silences

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