sick of being the organiser, but can't seem to stop!(6 Posts)
I just read a thread that really struck a chord with me. I feel like I'm a chronic organiser of social occasions etc. It bugs me because I'm in a constant dilemma e.g. along the lines of: 'I want to go to this event and if I don't organise something it won't happen'; and 'No one else will organise it if I don't'; and 'I want to know what's happening rather than leave it to chance, so I'll organise it'.
I have a reputation amongst my friends of being super organised, and find I gravitate towards people who are too, and find disorganised / non commital people frustrating. Sometimes I feel I am one of life's organisers and can't do anything else so no point worrying about it, but also it gets me down a bit because I feel I'm too uptight about things, intolerant of less organised friends, and feel that if something doesn't go right people moan about it rather than taking the initiative.
I feel anxious if things aren't planned - e.g. wouldn't want to leave things like transport arrangements to chance incase we missed the last bus or couldn't get a taxi. And I feel really intolerant of disorganised people, e.g. find lateness really annoying, as in 'if they couldn't get here on time why did they say they'd come'. I have been known to not bother so much with friends who are non commital, since I'd rather give my time to the organised ones who'll put something in their diary. Overall I feel I invest more in social occasions and events than other people, then feel resentful about it. My friends often express that if I hadn't organise something it wouldn't have happened. But also I worry I am overbearing in my organising.
I know the obvious thing is to organise less and let other people take the lead, but I'd worry that would result in stuff not happening - e.g. if I really fancy seeing a play but leave it to someone else to organise, it might be too late to get tickets; or if I leave my weekend empty on the off chance someone is around, it might not work out and I might be left with nothing to do.
How can I reconcile this dilemma - which feels like it's a lifelong one for me!
I think you need to step back a bit......
People have obviously got used to you organising everything and are happy to let you get on with it.
Perhaps next time when everyone wants to see a play, you can say to the group, I'm up to my neck at the moment at work, can someone else organise the tickets? smile and let whoever comes forward get on with it.
Full sympathy here. However, you say you gravitate towards other organised people, so presumably they're at least relatively easy to organise?
I wouldn't be worried about bothering less with disorganised friends, ultimately friendship has to be about compatibility and if you can't enjoy their company it seems fair enough to relegate them to acquaintance. I know someone who was very strict with her best friend, she would only ever wait 10 mins for her, would never arrange anything that absolutely depended on her arriving at a certain time, because she was chronically late and it drove my friend mad.
I think I would see being the lead organiser as a positive for you. You want to go to thing [x], you want to go with your friends, so you make that happen. Yes, occasionally it would be nice if someone else sorted out the boring admin but the end result is still you've been to thing [x] with your friends (and secretly would you trust someone else to do it right? I completely share your wish to have transport arrangements planned in advance, for example - cannot be doing with freestyling anything like that). I don't think overall your life would be better if you hung back and waited for someone else to step up to organise thing [y] and left a weekend free. What would be good, though, is if your group of friends have a few things they go to periodically (e.g. once a year) is explicitly delegate the organising to someone else on the grounds you do most of the spontaneous event organising.
Plus maybe try to detach if it's not something you are that fussed about - it's my company's Xmas do this coming Thursday, I have no idea what the plan is and have no intention of taking over the organising (I'm the only woman in my firm). But I am only going under sufferance/to be polite anyway - I don't drink, I hate evening dos in the winter anyway, and I know it will be in the centre of the city we live in so my transport is already sorted out.
I wouldn't give two hoots about whether you are overbearing in your organisation. Clearly no-one is annoyed about it to the point where they can get off their arses to organise something so just crack on.
I think Chottie is right - you need to delegate. You say you gravitate towards other organised people - so your friends are clearly capable. Just be upfront with them - send a text to say "that play on Y date looks good - do you have the time to sort tickets because I just don't?" And if the friend fails to get tickets on time and you miss it - is that really so bad?
Can i suggest that if you want to go to a play/gig/cafe whatever, you just get yourself a ticket and go?
And perhaps learn that time spent doing nothing is just as good as time spent doing stuff or organising to do stuff. It isnt wasted time. You sound hyper.
OP, I was like you in my 20's. I still remember the intense choking feeling things were not going as planned and people going out of control. It made me very very good at my job. And very very anxious, awkward socially.
Then I fell pg and everything was out of control. I had prenatal depression. I did cognitive behaviour therapy to learn how to associate letting go with positive feelings and outcomes.
Now it's still hard to let things / other people organise themselves, I wouldn't for bigger things like birthdays / holidays, but I let everyday stuff sort itself out. It does. DH is very happy about the change and has more space and more confidence.
One steps / event / little thing at a time, build up your tolerance, learn breathing technique (sorry, sounds stupid, it's not).
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