I surprised myself the other day while being unapologetically assertive with another human being.
A very nice and reasonable woman knocked on our front door last Saturday afternoon, seeking my family’s participation in a national health survey being conducted on behalf of our federal government by a reputable research company.
I was in the middle of doing some tinkering with my Natural Therapy Pages webpage, a little facebooking and other mind-absorbing stuff. My husband was dozing on the bed upstairs and the kids were staring at a game on our son’s new game console thingo. It was plainly an inconvenient moment for a stranger to walk into our home and administer a survey.
I said no.
Knowing full well she had been knocking on doors along many a street in our town and reaping few participants since many of our neighbours are occasional weekend visitors rather than residents.
I said no.
Even realising we fitted perfectly the qualifying criteria for the age and gender of people she was required to interview,
I said no.
She asked why. I just said, “it’s not convenient.” The look of desperation in her face troubled me for a moment (it was a hot day), as she said; “I can come back another day.”
I still said; “no thanks, we’ll decline.”
As she reluctantly turned away from our front door and I closed it in her wake, I did feel a little uncomfortable.
I wasn’t rude and yet I was very unlike myself from days of old when I would have probably said yes, irritating my own family and compromising my own wishes in order to be “nice”. Or, saying a very conflicted and apologetic no and feeling guilty about it for days after.
I didn’t even say sorry.
I spoke to my husband about it soon after and found I actually felt pretty comfortable with how I’d handled this refusal to be of assistance.
You see these days I’m much more comfortable in my own skin than ever before, I don’t feel the strong need I used to have for approval from others and as a result of my ever-present well developed intuition, I know without hesitation what will serve my highest good and what will not.
What also became really clear to me from this little experience was how far I have come from the Tricia of ten years ago. Back then, not only would I have agreed to participate in the survey (regardless of personal inconvenience), I would have seen it as a highly valuable exercise in information gathering and dissemination of information to the masses for their certain betterment. I would have felt proud to add my opinions, data and vital details, so that others may come to informed inferences, correlations and conclusions.
Nowadays I feel so inexplicably separate from the bureaucracies that administer our public health policies, campaigns and services, that to take part in a process, that to my mind is a colossal waste of money becomes a no-brainer. It’s very simple,
This is not to say I have any great criticism against our public health system in general, I just think research that results in public health campaigns to entice individuals making unhealthy choices to change their behaviour gets patchy results at best, and smacks of feel-good brownie points being scored by the political party in power.
Wow! Where did that come from? Didn’t think I had a strong political view anywhere in my oh-so spiritually-aware self.
Hmmph. Still a normal person then? Yep that’s correct. Just happier being me these days.