What does it mean to say not now? Does it infer that perhaps in a minute, a later date, sometime soon, or next time? I think about the meaning of words and find it interesting how many times people will say things without actually saying anything. For example; I can write the words, “Maybe I will see you next time!” What did I mean by that? Maybe? Perhaps, possibly, perchance I will see you next time? When viewing my calendar I do not see the word next time, some time, or even someday. Therefore, our confidence level in seeing that individual in the near future may not be very high.
When we are communicating with others, what message do we convey? Are we being coy when answering questions regarding our commitment or intentions? Do we practice being vague by not clearly defining our position which may create distrust and frustration? When one repeatedly acts in this manner others can find their irritating evasiveness very frustrating and distance themselves.
The next time we hear ‘Not Now’, stop and listen what is really being said. Observe what is happening around the one who is speaking. Are those particular words (not now) being spoken just to put off something or someone due to procrastination? Are they being spoken out of wisdom, stopping to count the cost first before making any kind of commitment? In the picture above, are the brushes set aside because someone said they wanted to paint and another said, not now? Perhaps the artist stopped to get prepared to entertain unexpected company; when asked if they were interrupting she said, “Not now!”
There are a lot of dynamics involved any time we attempt to communicate with others. When we have to ask someone for assistance and their response is, “Not now”, what emotions arise? Rejection, frustration, anxiety, fear, or anger, are a few emotions stirred within our heart when we hear those ‘two little words’. What is our own response?
For those desiring to see how others respond when they are told two simple little words, “Not now”, observe and note their behaviors on paper. In addition, as one reading this message, when asked to write a response in the comment section, would the thought ‘not now’ come to mind in regard to the invitation? This is just one more idea to think about, but not now!