Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The three-strike rule

This is a rule I had to employ a couple of years ago when I found myself in a state of running around after the people in my life, and I had to assert myself in order to maintain some dignity and self-respect.

It’s simple: if I’m trying to get hold of someone, I will make three attempts. Depending on the particular circumstances, I will choose the medium most likely to get to the person (usually SMS or voicemail)

If those attempts aren’t acknowledged (by that I mean SMS replied to or call answered), I won’t make another attempt until I hear from the person again.

I’ve found it to be most effective at weeding out the people who don’t really want to be around me, and at preventing me from becoming one of those pathetic people nobody wants to be around because they’re too needy.

I treat my friends in a particular way, and I expect the same treatment from them. If someone calls me, I will answer, or call back as soon as I can. If someone sends me an SMS, I will almost always reply, even if it’s just a one-word response like “OK” or “Cool”, just so they know I’ve received and read the message.

I understand that people aren’t always able to respond immediately, so I’m reasonable about it. If I miss once, I’ll try again a few hours later. If I miss again, I’ll wait till the evening, or the next morning before making another attempt. It’s silly to try three times in the space of five minutes… if they missed the first two, they’re most likely not going to get the third.

It’s unfortunate that I feel the need to have rules like this in my life. I wish it wasn’t necessary.