Ladies: Stop Taking Responsibility for Other People’s Choices

King Street Waiting RoomPlease.

Just please stop already. I know it comes from a good place. Kind of. But stop it.

So here’s half of the problem: my librarian team has a wicked sweet tooth.

Just saying.

But here’s the other half: one library coworker has diabetes. His philosophy is to eat what he likes and take insulin shots to compensate.

It’s not working well for him.

This frustrates and saddens me. But he’s a grown man in his early sixties. A lot of doctors have piled on a lot of advice. And he’s chosen to take none of it. I think it’s a poor choice, but it’s his choice to make.

My other coworkers—all women—disagree.

They still bring in their donuts and shortbread cookies and chocolate cakes. But they spend quite a bit of time and create a lot of secret communication in order to successfully hide them from our diabetic coworker. I mean, The Cupcake Hiding Game could probably win an award of some kind. Like, I don’t know, the Lame-Things-to-Do-When-You-Are-Bored-at-Work-and-Need-to-Play-Tricks-on-Someone Award.

Round 1: Spread a secret around the office and manage to keep it from one person.

Their reasons?

  1. He will eat the majority of whatever dessert we bring in, so there will be little left for the rest of us. This is true.
  2. They want to help him make good choices.

I like my fair share of brownies and cupcakes as much as anybody. But I am very suspicious of motivation Number Two.

One of my coworkers pointed out his XL Frappuccino every Monday morning and explained, “Women have to be responsible for men because god knows they’re not mature enough to be responsible for themselves.”

I wasn’t so sure about this. What about all their responsibility out in the world?

“That’s just them trying to overcompensate for all the power we have over them at home.”

This may sound like a feminist position. But it’s not. And here’s why:

If you invest all your time picking up someone else’s socks, forcing lifestyle changes that they themselves are unwilling to make, and hiding things (anything at all) for “their own good,” you are taking responsibility for someone else’s shit

Here’s my bottom line, ladies:

Don’t take responsibility for someone else’s shit.

I don’t care if that “someone else” is male or female. If someone asks for help, then give it. If someone needs help, then offer it.

But if they turn you down, stop investing your beautiful mind in ways to outwit the rejection and corner them into taking your help. Stop wasting your precious time.

You asked.

They said no.

Move on.

Better yet, go kick ass somewhere it will count. Like in your own life.

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