”But, I thought you were a Go-Giver!”
Expect to hear this question from time to time after you’ve denied a request to someone who may have never even read the book but has heard you discussing it.
They’ve asked you to do anything from serving on a committee, to donating time and/or money to a cause, to providing them with an endorsement or introduction, to … to … well, you get the picture. Each of these are terrific, when warranted and appropriate. However, in this case, for whatever reason you have determined, it wouldn’t be the correct action for you to take.
In the previous post, we discussed the false premise that being a Go-Giver means you have to give away your product or service for free and have absolutely no concern for making a profit.
This time, we’ll look at the equally invalid idea that being a Go-Giver means acting contrary to your own interests, if doing so entails either a break from your personal value system or having to be some kind of self-sacrificing martyr in order to do another’s will. In other words, that you must say yes upon fear of being guilted. 🙂
It absolutely does not mean that!
Please don’t misunderstand. Doing for others is wonderful, even at times doing something you would rather not do. And so long as it’s a choice you are making of your own free will, and it aligns with your personal value system and sense of right and wrong, that’s fine.
That’s not necessarily being a Go-Giver, and it’s not not being a Go-Giver, either. It just is what it is: nice, kind and generous … and the world certainly needs more of that.
But if, in order to be more productive, or to refrain from doing something that would violate your sense of what’s right, or even just to maintain your sanity or for any other reason, you feel you must say no to someone’s request, that’s okay. You can do that without fear of not being a Go-Giver.
The person who challenges you on your “no” by insinuating otherwise might not even necessarily be a manipulative person. He or she simply might not understand. You have the opportunity to educate them in a way that is of benefit to both of you.
Oh, and while a Go-Giver does have to say no sometimes (often regretfully so), they also know that how you say it can make all the difference in the world to the other person’s feelings. Saying no with tact, kindness and class certainly is an attribute of a Go-Giver.
And when saying no, they do so without a feeling of guilt. (Okay, maybe just a bit because … let’s face it, it’s natural to want to please others). 🙂
Following the Five Laws as defined in the book will add great value to your life and the lives of others around you. At the same time, it”s important to keep in mind what being a Go-Giver really is — and just as importantly, what it isn’t.