Any time you impose yourself and your ideas on another, you risk pushing them away instead of creating a stronger connection. This is true in personal lives and in business.
Blog Writers Feel Free To Impose
With all the blogs available, it can be a challenge to get someone’s attention. Often, people starting new blogs automatically sign up friends and acquaintances without first getting their permission. Suddenly, the friends find their inboxes filling up with blogs they knew nothing about. Quite often they resent that their friend felt it was okay to impose on them. And too often they feel awkward unsubscribing. This can lead to long term resentment, distrust or even dislike.
It does not matter how well you know someone, you always want to get permission to start sending regular emails.
Where Else Do People Impose In Your Life?
Of course it is not just the business that seems to invite people to impose themselves in someone’s life. It happens in day to day life quite often.
How many times has someone tried to tell you what to do in a particular situation even though you didn’t ask for advice? How often has someone done something for you before you had a chance to do it, or ask for help?
There are at least two stereotypes that feed this. One is the woman who is in full mothering or teaching mode even when with other adults where it is not appropriate. Another is the perception that men would rather give advice to end a conversation than listen to the underlying facts.
To Impose Is To Force Your Self Into Someone Else’s Space
According to Merriam-Webster, to impose is to establish or bring something about as if by force, or to force something into the company of or onto the attention of another. This is needed and appropriate when working with children. When working with adults it leads to problems.
Forcing yourself and your ideas on another adult belittles to them. It sends the message that you do not think they are capable of making their own decisions, or that you do not care enough to hear them. This opens a fracture in the relationship.
If things do not go well, you might well find yourself the target of blame.
What You Can Do Instead
Before you impose on anyone, ask if the person wants advice, to receive your blog, or whatever it is you are “selling”. It is important to be okay with a NO; respect it and move on.
In the case of the blog, you may choose to send an email with a blog post attached. Tell them you have a new blog and invite the person to check it out and subscribe if desired. One such email is typically all you want to send. Leave the act of subscribing to the other person unless they specifically ask you to do it for them.
In the case of offering advice, simply ask if they would like to hear a different perspective. If so, you can offer your thoughts, including options. Leave the final decision to the person. They may ask what you would do; feel free to answer this, including why, but make sure to add that the person has to do what is right for them.
It Is About Respecting The Person
Always remember, you cannot control another person. All you can do is try to influence when appropriate. It is always best to leave the other person feeling competent and confident.