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Have you made the most important decision of your life? Where will you spend Eternity? To make heaven is as simple as ABC- Accept you are a sinner, Believe that Jesus died for your sin and Confess HE is Lord.

6 Jul 2008

You don’t have to catch the ball

There’s a new principle I have learnt lately that I will like to share with you. “When someone throws the ball at you, you don’t have to catch it”. Everyday, people (spouses, colleagues, friends, family etc) throw all kinds of balls at us and most of us think it is our duty to catch them. We see ourselves as heroes and pride in the ability to rescue our family and friends when they are in trouble. However when we do this often we sometimes begin to feel resentful, blaming others for taking advantage of us or for not giving us the respect we think we deserve. It is like a vicious cycle- you want to please everyone yet you are not happy because you feel manipulated.

Why do we find ourselves in situations like this? Maybe because we don’t want to look bad or we want people to like us or we simply have a rescuer mentality. It sometimes boils down to the ability to saying no. Before I continue please note that I am not saying we should never be there for our families and friends, what I am saying is that we choose when to be there. That way, we don’t blame others for taking up all our time since we made that choice to be available in the first place. The funny thing is when we choose not to catch the ball, the person will bounce their ball to someone else who eventually will catch it (shows you are not the only one in the world that can help).

Saying no does not mean you reject the person it simply means you reject the task or whatever it is they want you to get involved in. This is where assertiveness comes in. I read somewhere that assertiveness is “your ability to know who you are and what you stand for - and then to express these qualities effectively in everyday interactions with other people”. Assertiveness is a skill we all have to learn as it does not come to us naturally. People generally lean towards passiveness (trying to keep peace at all times) or aggression (resorting to violence when saying no). Assertion increases constructive communication and relationship between people.

The consequence of being assertive is that people respect your feelings and your boundaries. You know you have a right to express your opinions or beliefs even when it contradicts what others are saying or what they want you to do.

One area where most of us see ourselves catching the ball is picking up our mobile/phone when it rings. It's a strange one but it is true. Mobile phones can be a BIG time stealer. We pick up the phone and sometimes get involved in idle chats and later on realise that we haven't achieved much either at work or with the house chores. Sometimes when I am doing my house chores and my phone rings I let it ring out. My hubby gets upset with me when I do this but I tell him it is my mobile phone and I can choose to answer it or not. Besides I can always call this person back. More often than not if the call is really important the caller either leaves a message on my voicemail or sends me an sms. This is not to say I don't appreciate my friends or I don't want people calling me but I have learnt that I am in control of my time and can't catch the ball at that time. Speaking of which, I need to return some calls I missed this weekend!

Anyway, I hope you get the point I am trying to make. It might not apply to everyone but am sure someone out there needs to read this. Next time I will be talking about some assertiveness tips for everyday life. Meanwhile enjoy your week and remember when someone throws the ball at you, you don't have to catch it.


  1. Word! I kinda feel guilty when i say no but i am learning that i cannot be all things to all men!
    Looking forward to the tips!

  2. the contestants have their songs up on blogville idol page ..pls run over there to listen to then and pls vote

  3. well said dearie,
    oya where r d tips?????????

  4. yaay..mehn this post is for me o...aloted
    thanks hun, themobile phone thing is so true,
    like me i wont like sometimes i really let it ring..buhahaha
    aww loted thank you
    very inspiring post....muAH

    oh ok, ild go and check my mail...

    cyberhugs and kisses

    have a wonderful week

  5. Nice one T.. the part regarding having a ‘rescuer mentality’ is similar to the sermon I was listening to, this morning. So I guess this blog is really for me... definitely ‘God sent’. I also need to learn to be more assertive so looking fwd to the tips. Good Job T!


  6. "Assertion increases constructive communication and relationship between people."

    I really like that statement...

    Yes, we don't always have to catch the ball when it is thrown at us. The problem is probably that most people think they have the capacity to catch all balls...but in reality, there's only so much burden only one person can bear...that's why God wants us to cast all our burdens to Him...

  7. @writefreak- yes o..we can't be super woman always..will post the tips soon

    @blogville idol- ok o..i have voted already..

    @LG- lol...waiting for this entry to settle in before i post up the tips

    @ajike- am glad this made sense to u...did u see my email??

    @LBM- guess i was in the spirit yah? tips coming up soon!

    @Jaycee- you have summarised it! couldn't have said it any better. God is the only one that can catch ALL the balls :)

  8. @rethots- hmmm what??? pls come and put a better comment o..we want to learn from you!

  9. pls RUN over to d idol page and listen to d contestants NIGERIAN song!!!dont forget to vote!!!!d competition is gettiing HOTTER

  10. Naturally, we need not 'catch the ball' (though, i have my reservations for the 'mobile' phone thingy) but, how easy is it?
    Me, 'tis as if i call the balls.....a bad habit i daresay; but, learn to consciously watch the ball fall i must.

    On the contrary though, people don't necessarily respect us for our assertiveness but, our person.

    Nice one Aloted

  11. Yep! i so don't av 2 catch everytn thrown @ me.

    It take some self discipline n prioritizing.

  12. Oh Lord, teach me how not to catch the unnecessary balls thrown at me, 'cos i need this message like ever. Thanks for sharing missy and expecting the tips. Have a great weekend luv.

  13. @rethots-thanks for your comment.
    the mobile phone scenario was just a personal example..not something i expect anyone to pick up.

    hmm picking the ball then dropping it..hmm thats another level.

    being assertive is part of what makes up our person, yah? so u r right it is our person people respect.

    @oluwaDee- I concur!!!! Self discipline and prioritizing is KEY

    @rinsola- amen to that! have a great weekend as well dia

  14. babes am so sorry..but wud u believe me if i told u i had not check my mail...i aint lieing seriously..but ild check it this evening and reply

    ..pls am so sorry!
    how is u sha?

  15. I couldn't agree with you more. I read in one blog recently that you should be carefull waht people say to you because it is waht they say to you that they will eventually do to you.
    There's an interesting debate taking place on my blog and your contribution will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  16. Thanks for visiting my blog... and calling me Mr. Hitch was more than flattering. Now let me go and read your blog.

  17. Hmmm you r darn right. It is not our business to catch the ball if we dont have to. I have learnt that as I become older. Thanks for this piece

  18. Aloted, i felt this post 'speaking to me'.
    I kiss ass for a's terrible. an addiction.
    I don't know how to just say 'no'.
    It's been a prayer point for some time now.

  19. I almost thought I was in a management/leadership class.

    My first time here. Simply put, I like your blog.

  20. Aww thanks woomie o! and rita...Am yet to put up the second part...will do so soon

  21. ok, so u had me in mind when u wrote this post.
    nice girl, keep it up and i shall learn!


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