Have you ever been with someone you wanted to get away from? What about someone you could spend all day with and it felt too short?
Welcome to the world of energy givers and energy takers. Which are you? Everyone tends toward one or the other (of course it depends on whose perspective it's coming from). I'd like to think of myself as a giver and to my husband I probably am. But I'm betting that there's someone out there who sees me as an energy taker. Either way, there's two main responses I'm considering as I think about this topic...
It's easy to assume the best of myself. But let's be honest, I need to take time to look those I'm with in the face and learn what they think. What do their eyes tell me?
Once I was speaking to a friend about homeschooling and they were totally NOT into it. But, I kept talking, cause I'm so perceptive. If I were being totally honest, I was afraid of her rejecting the notion of homeschooling because of me. I wanted to make sure I represented all the ideas, reasons, and methods well enough for her to make a decision. She only asked a simple question and, in my eagerness, I gave her the moon.
When we talk to people, give advice, are asked for our opinion or anything it's prudent to look into the eyes of who we're talking to and get a read on them. It's not that hard to figure out if someone is tracking with us. There's a world of information to be gleaned from eye contact.
Back Out Gracefully
Once I was cornered at a vendor event at my local gym. I was there to jog, but ended up spending all my time with a sales person. I didn't have any interest in their product. Everything in me wanted to speak up and just tell them no thank you. But, I couldn't find a space to get a word in. And I didn't know what to say anyway. So I stood there, listening to their whole pitch, smiling on the outside, totally annoyed on the inside. I answered their scripted questions and finally freed myself from their awkward inability to see I wasn't interested. I felt that icky feeling. Leaving the gym usually came with a surge of energy but that day I left with a deficit.
Now I look back and think about how I could have handled it differently. When someone is sucking away my energy like that there is a way to back out of their clutches gracefully. My husband actually taught me this through example and I find it brilliant and have used it successfully multiple times:
1. Compliment them.
Find a way to be honest about it. With this particular lady I could have said, "I admire your persistence," or "I can tell you're working hard," or "You'e doing a great job."
2. Let them down gently.
"but I'm not really in the market for this product."
3. Thank them.
Say how you appreciate them for bringing what they sell to your attention, "Thanks so much for telling me about it though."
4. Offer to spread the word.
Not a fake or empty guarantee, but if given the opportunity. "If I come across someone that I think would enjoy the product I'll be sure to mention your name." And then get a business card or contact info if you don't already have it.
So put all together it would look like this:
"I admire your persistence but I'm not really in the market for this product. Thanks so much for telling me about it though. If I come across someone that I think would enjoy the product I'll be sure to give them your info."
5. Smile and wish them a great afternoon of success as you make your move to the exit.
How do you handle takers? Why do you think someone can be a giver and a taker depending on the recipient?