Don’t be desperate

Issue 1: Your problem isn’t my problem

Now, I will be so blunt: Why is it my problem that you don’t have enough donations or you’re not meeting some artificial deadline? I have plenty of demands on my time and money and my own set of deadlines to meet. If you’re not meeting your quotas, it has no impact on me. I don’t want to feel responsible for something that is your problem. It’s not up to me to save your campaign or job. We have urgent problems of our own, and we’re sure you wouldn’t show the same concern about ours.

Issue 2: Don’t come crying to me

We like to consider ourselves caring people. But when someone we don’t know comes crying to us, it raises suspicion instead of compassion. We feel we’re being manipulated, and the other person is using our empathy against us. Even if we care about that person or the cause, the maudlin display of emotion makes us uncomfortable. It’s as if they’re scolding us because we’re not as upset as they think we should be. As a result, we become resentful and tune out.

Issue 3: Don’t cry wolf

We have an abundance of things to worry about today. So when we’re told about one more thing we should be fearful or outraged about, we become skeptical — especially when we’re told something is going to “DESTROY!,” “CRUSH!,” or “ANNIHILATE!”

Desperate times don’t always call for desperate measures

We occasionally face do-or-die matters of survival. So does everyone else. But when you come at us crying and screaming warnings, we tune out. As compassionate as we are, we hate being manipulated or guilted into doing something. We feel you are using us and seek to become dependent on us. At the same time, we feel you wouldn’t have the same concerns about our problems.

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