Dealing With Unwanted Phone Calls and Solicitors

Comments from a reader:

I am “rude” to telephone solicitors and any sales/religion person that comes to my home uninvited. “Don’t call back”, “Get off my property”. I am the victim.

I hear others excuse the rudeness of solicitors: “Well they have to earn a living”… Oh, must I put up with it for their benefit? Who imposed that obligation on me?

Then the solicitor says, “So sorry to have bothered you” ?? Really? Does that mean you won’t be bothering my neighbor next? Nope… Liars.

I completely agree.

My own policy? I will not answer the phone unless I know who it is, and unless I wish to talk with them.

I will not usually answer the door if I’m not expecting someone. I don’t appreciate dropping by, as I would never do that to another, and won’t allow that done to me.

That’s an optional matter, and that’s just me.

But I share your premise: My time is my own, and I don’t owe one second of it to anyone, not without my consent or mutual agreement.

You got to the heart of the matter when you stated, ‘Who imposed that obligation on me?’

It’s the failure to answer that question the right way (or even ask it in the first place) that allows for so much evil in the world.

Whether it’s the petty annoyance of an unsolicited phone call, or the slaughter of millions in the name of some alleged ‘greater good,’ or everything in between, it all springs from the same false source: The idea that you have obligations to others merely because they want, need or demand it.

Not so far as I’m concerned. Nor as far as you, or anyone else, should be concerned, either.

I’m not suggesting that’s the explicit attitude of anyone trying to make their living that way. But it’s up to people seeking to make a living to find innovative and creative ways to do so, ways that don’t violate the property rights or privacy of those they victimize.

The people trying to make a living this way might be idiots. More likely, their bosses—or the people running the companies—are idiots. Or maybe they’re not. Maybe they make a profit by getting the 1 in 100,000 people who will actually buy something this way (assuming that’s the case). I honestly don’t know, and I honestly don’t care.

As for the people approaching me–with my views and perspectives–trying to sell me on religion, socialism, Obamaism or some other form of irrationality–well, I choose to find the absurdity of it downright hilarious, and I merely laugh at it.

Probably a majority of people feel just like you and I do. But most of them don’t have the nerve to act on it, not consistently and perhaps not at all.

Like all of us, they’ve been (from toddlerhood) relentlessly pelted with irrational idiocy from the pulpit, the Oval Office, from philosophers, pop-gurus and clichmongers from time immemorial.

I have always been a questioner, and I’ve never once surrendered, not for a moment, to one second of a thought or idea that makes no sense to me. This really shouldn’t be such a radical or unusual thing, but as I look around the world I find so many petrified—not of natural disasters or things that perhaps make sense—but terrified of the opinion of others. That’s what makes it so hard for the human race to achieve all that it might, and should, and perhaps yet will. They’re crippled by terror of negative judgment by others, judgment based on usually insane standards.

It’s amazing how we can start with such a simple, seemingly trivial matter from everyday life, such as unsolicited advertising, and see the profound implications in it. But those implications are always there. We can choose to uncover them, or ignore them. Either way, our emotions won’t let us escape their consequences.

Someone once told me, ‘Don’t let anyone ever steal your time—not a moment of it.’ I credit the person who told me, and I credit myself for grasping it, almost instantly. And then choosing to live that way, regardless of the ridiculous ideological and psychological babble to the contrary.

The truth is, you don’t owe anyone a second of your life or your time—not just because they claim it, or another claims it for them. Nor does anyone owe you anything, either. It works both ways. That’s the part, I suspect, that frightens people.

If someone tried to take my time, I wouldn’t necessarily feel aggravated, upset, or angry. Why spend the energy? They’re just doing what they do—the mooching loafer, or the possibly sincere, honest person trying to make a living with cold phone calls, or whatever. People will do what they do. I won’t let them tread on me, and because I never will allow it, I never have reason to feel aggravated, insulted, frustrated, hostile or enraged.

When people feel this way, it’s usually because they have let these unsolicited and unnecessary impositions, by others, build up over time.

But if you do that—it’s your own fault. If you want to experience a life filled with genuine serenity, then simply decide to live it that way’as your own life, and nobody else’s. If you don’t constantly act like you’re about to become a victim, or never let yourself be a victim, then you’ll probably never feel like one.

As for hanging up or slamming the door on people who have invaded your space? By all means do so, if that helps you not be the victim you have no requirement to be.


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