I have noticed that some people talk to me only when they want something. If I suspect that might be so, I start making a point to pay attention to our encounters. When our paths cross or I hear from them, does this person talk to me about general topics (“This sure is a hot summer isn’t it?”) and do they seem to enjoy talking to me? (“Good point, Colette.”) Do they appreciate how delightful
I am can be? (Oh Colette you crack me up.”) Or do they have no use for me until the day rolls around when they want something?
See, here’s the thing. I don’t know why anybody much approaches me this way ever anyhow, with an agenda of what they’d like me to do, because anymore I rarely grant satisfaction. Good luck trying to get me to run for an office, volunteer, join a committee, or help organize an an event. And if you think I’m going to give any money to your cause, pledge drive, fundraiser, or any other pet project, you go on and sleep tight because you are dreaming. If I give money, it’s voluntary and for something I believe in, never because I’m harangued for it and it’s important only to them.
It is not flattering to realize someone only approaches me when they want something. That fact alone makes me disinclined to acquiesce. Now, if I like you and/or you give me the time of day when you don’t want things, yeah sure, I may sign a petition, show up for a meeting, or volunteer for a limited time (the last of which you best appreciate – a “Thank you, we appreciate your help” oughta do it – or that’ll be the last time you see me volunteering). What I expect though, is that these people simply aren’t paying enough attention to me to realize or care that I won’t like being asked for something under these circumstances, i.e. the blow-me-off-till-you-want-something ones. But I’m paying attention to them.