Star Ford

Essays on lots of things since 1989.

Contributing to Meeting

on 2007 June 7

Most people today report feeling overburdened with responsibilities, and when we are asked to take on a role at Meeting, feelings of guilt and impending exhaustion can bring us down. How can we as Friends stuff those negative feelings without having to face the underlying issues? Here is a list of guilt-free techniques you can use to quickly escape doing any more work for your Meeting.

 

  1. You can extend the period of “testing the waters”, and don’t take on any responsibilities until you are fully committed to membership. Tentativeness can be cultivated for years, even a lifetime.
  2. Do a half-asssed job in your current role, and hope that no one will ask you to bungle anything else.
  3. Use your limitations as excuses by saying “I’m not good at that.” Don’t try new things, because each new thing that you can do takes away a potential excuse not to do it.
  4. Say that you have already served on the committee (even if it was 10 years ago), and that you promised never to do it again. Show scars, or draw parallels between committee time and jail time.
  5. Rope others into the role that you are being asked to do. Target those who are susceptible to guilt trips; they usually cave in. It’s helpful to say you have a “leading”that the other person was “meant” to be in the role.
  6. If there is an upcoming meeting and you suspect that Friends will be dividing up the work for the upcoming year, try to arrange other commitments so that you can’t attend that meeting.
  7. Since Meeting probably owes you something, you can wait until you are paid up until you offer anything else.
  8. If you cave in and accept a role, attach conditions to the acceptance, such as “if you can’t find anyone else” or “if I don’t have to go to any meetings”.
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