Cards and Canceled Plans

When it comes to checking my (physical) mail, my policy is mostly to just not. 

Unless there’s handwriting on the front!

Letters say, “I cared enough to take time to communicate with you.” It’s not even really about the words, more just the sentiment.

Idea: If banks and credit card companies just used robots to hand write their letters they’d have a much better open rate.

One trick to getting yourself to write more letters is make it a party. Even if it’s just you who’s attending. 

This Sunday invite some friends, grab a mid-day cocktail, and write 5 letters. 

Or I’ll try to do this at the same time as you and then we’re all partying except separately and if only a few of you do it we’ll delight like 15 people. 

About 4 months ago I received a hand written card. I opened it up to reveal what was inside.

Oh no… I thought. 

Some hand written cards come with a commitment.

It was an invitation to an event across the country with an option to RSVP.

Now, I’m flattered. I got invited, I was cared about and thought of, I was included. “yay!”

But if I’m honest with myself, my next thought was a bit of stress. I wanted to decline. 

Even if it was an imagined pressure, I felt there was no way I could say no to the invitation. It wasn’t the people, they’re great, it wasn’t the event, it sounded fun, but I knew that it was something I’d be personally happier saying no to.

But how do you say no? What will other people think of me? Will I get thrown out of the group? Their Myspace top 10?

::Tell me if you have felt this way before::

Instead of listening to how I was feeling, I made the first of 3 major mistakes we typically make when saying no or canceling plans. 

My first mistake was that I said yes when in the moment I was thinking no. I gave into the pressure. Only "no" experts are good at this step consistently. 

The second mistake I made is I kicked the can down the road. Instead of correcting that mistake after coming to my senses, I waited a few months. And every week or so I could feel it buzzing by my ears and around my head, the uneasy feeling that I wanted to cancel on these plans but couldn’t bring myself to because of worry about how they'd respond.

So after multiple months went by and I still hadn’t taken any action, I arrived at the third mistake. I started thinking up excuses for saying no. Mostly they were bad excuses. This is a mistake because now you’re making two mistakes, going against how you feel, and lying. It adds another layer into the web your caught in. 

Finally, I got up the courage and canceled those plans, about a month before the event. And you know what? It wasn’t a big deal... at all! All that back of the mind stress for the few months. All the worry! 

I think all we really need in these situations is the permission to act honestly on how we feel. 

So I'm giving you each a permissions slip to say no or cancel something today. 

[1 free cancel your plans card]

Oh and see you at my card party next Sunday??

LifestyleDavid Sherry