Reluctant volunteering

I am usually very careful to volunteer only for tasks I really want to do.   I sometimes want to do a task because it is a new experience that I am curious about, or it is a challenge that I know I will enjoy even if it is tricky, or it will possibly teach me a new skill.  The task may not be pleasant, but I know it will be productive in some way or other, even if to prove to me that I should not have volunteered to take it on. even those negative reasons feel valid reasons to volunteer.

Last night I volunteered purely because there was no one else volunteering to do something.   I hate doing that, I don’t know why I do it.  The task needs to be done, the person who usually does it is has no time at this point to fit that in and was very clear that she definitely could not do it.  No one else would volunteer.  So I did.  Why?  I now need to do  task which I know I am not good at.  I know I will not do it justice and that the results will not be well received, as I just don’t have the skills to do the usual good job.

I genuinely don’t know why I do this, it happens very rarely, but it happens at work, it happens outside work. I compulsively fill a gap when there is that loud silence when no one will volunteer.  It does not always happen, mostly I absolutely know myself well enough to not over stretch in time or skills.  But I am very interested in trying to work out why it happens when it does.  If you have any clues, let me know.

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on



2 thoughts on “Reluctant volunteering”

  1. Abigail, I absolutely recognise and identify with what you’re saying here. I was exactly the same: think I’ve now learnt to be quiet! For me, part of it was, I didn’t want to be thought of being unwilling/unhelpful/ mean and other things, so often would end up doing something I didn’t have the skills to do. I also hated seeing someone being stuck or feeling unsupported. Now I’m more comfortable being uncomfortable but it takes some doing! Good luck – with the task and being uncomfortable next time!


    1. Yes, it does seem to be a thing lots of people do. I am usually really good at not doing it though. I can sit happily with discomfort and regard saying no as a skill I possess. On Monday, it was the seeing someone stuck and unsupported that got to me. Definitely that. Problem is that the task I volunteered to do is a creative one, not in my comfort zone at all. But good things usually follow a good will, so another very creative friend heard what I had done and has volunteered to help. So all will be well, I am sure. But I need to work on that skill again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: