2/26/2016: Expectations

I’m notoriously bad at returning messages. Every single one of my friends and family members can confirm this. I think it’s some combination of the fact that, as an introvert, I easily get absorbed into whatever I’m focused on at the moment and also the fact that I put off responding because I always want my replies to be thoughtful and thorough.

The same goes for email — I’m terrible at it! Today I had a huge chunk of my calendar blocked off to catch up my responses, but inevitably when I’m forced to prioritize work tasks, that’s the one thing that never gets top priority. Not to mention once I DO get through those important work tasks, the next thing I want to do is go outside and live or explore or rest, not stay strapped to my computer typing away.

I often find myself feeling really guilty about this lack of responsiveness, but what I realized today was that what I *actually* feel guilty about is not necessarily my lack of reply (I won’t apologize for choosing an afternoon hike over an afternoon answering emails!) but actually my lack of setting expectations. I don’t spend enough time telling friends, “Here’s why I’m slow to return your texts, it has nothing to do with how much I love you!” or letting the Made Vibrant community know “If you don’t hear from me for a week, it’s not because I don’t value your email or want to chat with you, I just need a reminder sometimes!” This idea, of course, goes way beyond emails and text messages. Setting clear expectations is an important part of building any relationship. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling guilty about this but my new approach is going to be to figure out ways that I can simply set better expectations and communicate those to the people I love!

While we’re on the subject — to any of you that have commented in the past with no reply, please know that even if I don’t see every comment or reply to each one that I so value the fact that you choose to share your time and attention with me! It’s something I’m working on! 💗