This is No. 99,357 in a series of internet articles that make an agreeable point in an awful way. Collect them all!
The Quartz article is in response to a Wall Street Journal article titled, “You’re not busy, you’re just rude.” And in rebutting how it’s not rude to schedule people when you deign to do so, the author is, well, rude.
I’m sure she sincerely thinks she isn’t rude. And by DC standards, she probably isn’t. But anyone who schedules hangout time as rigorously as she does for someone she “really want(s) to see” (as shown in her text message) surely comes off that way.
If someone would do this to me, I wouldn’t think they were fitting me into their busy schedule — I would assume they were actively weaseling out of our hangout time. Especially if said person is aware of my schedule and makes no effort to find a time that’s beneficial to both of us. (And I will further assume that the overscheduler will flake out of their future commitment at the last minute. Probably by citing all-new busyness that just came up.)
Again, it’s not as if I don’t understand. Like her, I am discretionary with my time. Whenever I visit my hometown, for example, I don’t tell everyone I’m going. Back when I used to announce it, I’d get several dozen invitations to hang out — and I’d feel crappy about each one I rejected. These days, I’m more covert about my travels, because I’m lucky to make time for three people outside of my immediate family. Even when I’m operating from my home base, I have to choose my company carefully. Without sufficient charging time, I’ll likely doze off even if I’m mid-dance. So as far as making time for yourself in a busy world, I’m down with that.
What mars her otherwise fine point is that, in the attempt to keep everyone else from controlling her life, she pulls a 180 and takes no one else’s needs and feelings into account at all. That’s where the rudeness comes in — the assumption that she, and she alone, is busy.
Friendship is a two-way street. It’s important to pay attention to both lanes.