Recently, I told an acquaintance no.
Well, not initially. I had told her I could do something, only later to realize, I actually couldn’t. I had to pull out on a commitment I made to her to help her new business. And I hated that I had to do that. I really don’t like letting people down, or disappointing them.
Telling her no did not go well. She was upset, and confrontational. She didn’t understand.
And I had a choice.
I could be upset back at her. I could explain how my work priorities shifted, how the timeline wasn’t what I expected, how it didn’t align with my new commitments now… but I didn’t.
Instead, I apologized for misleading her. For not thinking it all the way through. I took responsibility for my part. I also acknowledged her anger, and her disappointment. She was hurt. I can extend compassion for that. I have been there.
The confrontation wasn’t comfortable. But it was necessary. I thanked her for the discussion, and hopefully it cleared the air. I also took a mental note. Sometimes things don’t work out for a reason.