11 Ways to Deal With the Stale Mate and Procrastination in Your Relationships
Based on several studies, the overall rate of Americans who say they procrastinate is greater than 25%. The irony of this is that most procrastinators do not own up to their own problems. This means that the percentage of those who procrastinate is in actuality probably much higher.
But what is the big deal, really? If you can get your work done on time, who cares if you are burning the midnight oil to do so?
As it turns out, those close to you probably care quite a bit. All types of personal relationships suffer when faced with procrastination. Not only can it make loved ones feel less important because you are constantly putting them off, but it can also deplete the sense of teamwork that makes for strong interpersonal relationships of all kinds.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid unneeded mistakes when it comes o your most important personal relationships.
Tip # 1 Okay, so you’re not impulsive but…
“I want to think things more. I don’t want to hurt him.” How many times have we heard that before? Men and women say they don’t want to do anything – especially end a relationship – impulsively.
The problem is, you’re the problem. Admit it. The relationship’s been going downhill for the last 12 months. You’ve craved for freedom frequently, but you still can’t get to tell your mate that love’s gone out the window.
Stop pretending that you need to think things through. No matter how you analyze it, it all boils down to the same thing: time to move on. Here are examples of what your procrastination causes:
You deprive yourself of the mental freedom you need to concentrate on other aspects of your life,
You deprive yourself of the opportunity to meet other people who share your interests and with whom you can have a meaningful relationship,
You deprive your mate of the truth about how you feel
You deprive your mate of the opportunity to meeting other people,
You deprive your mate and yourself of the chance to find happiness again.
Just muster up the courage and say it. Time heals all wounds.
Tip # 2 It’s not what you say, it’s HOW you say it
No one says ending a relationship is easy. There have been documented accounts of people turning suicidal after a break-up, separation or divorce. They fall into a depression, and a few are unable to come out of it whole and able to trust again.
But if you procrastinate because you’re worried about the aftermath, you’ll only be doing the other person a disservice. Talk to your mate when you have full rein of your emotions.
Yes, honesty is still the best policy but this is where you’ll have to optimize on your diplomat’s skills. Choose your words, and dwell on the positive. Convince her that both of you would be better off with somebody else. Offer to remain friends so the transition is not emotionally devastating.
Tip # 3 Married to your work? Or just procrastinating in the dating game?
In Lives Without Balance, Steven Carter and Judith Sokol (Villard Books, 1992) discuss the phenomenon of confirmed bachelors, male and female.
Striking a balance between work and play is still considered the ideal, no matter how sacred you think the work ethic is: “By now if you are unattached, it’s probably overwhelmingly apparent that your lifestyle is not conducive to finding or forming a solid relationship. Whether you’re male or female, you are simply so involved in your work that you don’t have the necessary time or energy for dating…Yet you ache for a relationship.
Is procrastination barring you from a meaningful relationship?
Tip # 4 Father / mother issues?
One of the worst kinds of procrastination is when you carry resentment from childhood into adolescence and into adulthood. Here you are in your 40’s and that childhood resentment is still brewing inside you. All these years you’ve allowed it to grow into a cancer because you won’t deal with it.
Don’t let your procrastination erode any love that’s left. If you’re angry about something, speak up. If they explained their side, perhaps that resentment may just whittle away, and you’ll only berate for yourself for making a mountain out of a molehill. You can’t continue blaming your parents for your misfortunes.
Tip # 5 And with your siblings…
Don’t procrastinate either. Instead of putting off a project in which your older sister asked you for help, why not just tell her in a straightforward manner that you don’t have time to spare because of your school work and other commitments. Tell her now and not later. That way you avoid any friction.
Tip # 6 Aunt Mable means well, but…
Everyone has a doting aunt. They think the world of us and would give us anything in the world to make us happy – including their used make-up kits, clothes and handbags. The generational divide in fashion tastes though is too apparent to ignore.
Don’t postpone telling your aunt Mable that you don’t want her fire engine red lipstick, her roaring 20’s dinner gown and her leopard skin handbag. If you don’t tell her now, she’ll shower you with more undesirable gifts. And remember what we said earlier about clutter. The procrastinating monster rears its ugly head in between the dark recesses of your closet that’s looking more like a huge wasteland.
Tip #7 “Come with me shopping…”
Or “let’s go see a movie.” “Let’s bar hop tonight.” “Can you go with me to this concert?” “Join me for dinner at my step mother’s. I don’t want to be alone with her.”
Do you have friends who seem to want to include you in all – and we mean all – of their activities? Is it their constant need for company, or simply a case of not having a backbone? If you’re not capable of a firm but polite no, you’ll receive a lot more invitations you can handle.
Friendships have to be nurtured, but this is overkill. Shed off your procrastination habits and tell your friend politely you can’t go out with her anymore. She’ll survive. Or she can find someone else to drag along.
One woman was lamenting the fact that her mother-in-law always seems to drop in around the time she’s preparing dinner for her husband.
This woman endured her mother-in-law’s unwelcome visits – not to mention her acerbic words – for six months, but feels she’s come to the end of her rope.
The woman told us, “She says things like, my dear Albert (that’s my husband) would much rather pepper his steak than salt it. One day, I had worked so hard on this trifle, and she said, oh dear, I don’t think he’s too fond of British dessert; he has a weakness though for French pastries. I’m surprised he didn’t tell you.”
If the woman is as smart in the human relationships department as she is in the kitchen, she’ll know how to deal with her mother-in-law. But she better take action now or she’ll end up soaking her in a pot of scalding soup!
Tip # 9 If there’s a will, there’s a way
We’re not referring here to the will to do something. We’re talking about a real Will – as in Last Will and Testament. Your father is dying and is about to sign his last will.
You also know that he is going to leave a larger part of his estate to your older brother being the eldest child. And here’s the painful part.
You know that your older brother has been arrested a few times for gambling debts and credit card fraud. The family kept this secret from your father because of his illness. For the last five years, you’ve been arguing with your brothers and sisters to tell your father about your brother’s predicament, but they did not want him to worry unnecessarily.
If you procrastinate and the Will is signed and then your father passes away, your inaction is tantamount to squandering your father’s hard-earned money. Worse, your brother’s situations will deteriorate further. You give a chronic gambler more money, what do you really think he’s going to do with it?
Tip # 10 Aging sick parents need just a bit of your time
Your parents have lost their autonomy and are in a home for the aged. Have you been to one of these places lately? Old sick people can’t move around anymore and are confined to their wheelchairs all day long.
You see the look on their faces – the look that says they could use some company, need to be read to, or need someone to just listen to their troubles. Sons and daughters with families of their own and who lead hectic lives come less often, a few have stopped coming. Think what a pity it would be if you procrastinated in visiting.
Tip # 11 Health is wealth and many more
Health conditions need immediate attention. Don’t procrastinate in seeing a doctor to have the following checked: growths, tumors, change in appetite, consistent chest pain, numbness that doesn’t go away, frequent dizziness, irregular bowel movement, loss of appetite, depression, blood in your stool, persistent coughing, unusual changes in the skin, or a general feeling of being unwell.