Is ‘I’m Busy’ the Socially Acceptable Way of Saying ‘Eff You?’ by @mariedelcioppo

Photo Credit: Evil Erin via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Evil Erin via Compfight cc

by Marie Delcioppo

Back in December 2013, the poo hit the fan in my little world. I had been soooo busy and soooo stressed for soooo long that I wound up soooo in the hospital with extreme exhaustion.

Since then, I have become very aware of others and my own busy-ness, and there are two truths I have discovered around being busy.

Truth #1

It’s insulting when you go on and on about how you cannot possibly do something because you are oh so busy.

When you say to someone “I am so busy,” what you are essentially saying is “You are not a priority to me.”

No, this is not true all the time, but, in my findings, it is more often than not. And, more importantly, when I have dug deep into what I really mean when I tell someone I am so busy — and what others have told me when they do the same — is that we are trying to make an excuse for why we don’t want to do something for or spend time with a certain person.

Simply put, it’s a socially acceptable way of saying “eff off.”

“Sorry I haven’t called. I’ve been so busy.”

I never thought about it before, but this phrase has an air of arrogance to it.

This being said, it takes seconds to send a text or an email.

And if you need to talk to the person live, cut the “I’ve been busy” crap. Shoot them a text or an email saying something like: “I want to know what’s been going on since we saw each other last. When is a good time for us to talk on the phone or meet up for coffee/tea/wine?”

The other person will feel fantastic because you are asking about them (and let’s face it: we all love to talk about ourselves and to feel wanted).

Truth #2

We are all busy… Or so we like to think.

Stop to think about what you are so busy doing. When I got real with myself about what I was soooo busy doing, I realized I was ruminating over the past, trying to predict the future, or just flat out complaining, mainly about how busy I was.

I had a high stress job. I traveled a lot, many times last minute. I had long conference calls and meetings and super tight deadlines. I was twisting myself into a pretzel to impress people. I worked seven days a week and all hours of the day.

Here’s the deal: No one is impressed by your busy-ness. It’s not a badge of honor.

When you chronically tell people how busy you are, it actually leads others to believe you have zero time management skills.

It is also WHINING! If you are so busy, do something about it. Get real with how you spend your time. How much time are you spending watching trashy reality tv shows or on Facebook?

We all get the same 24 hours. Period.

OUCH! Imagine having this realization while your iPhone and iPad are being confiscated and you’re in a hospital gown.

Since I couldn’t bathe myself in busy-ness, I made a stark realization… There was only ONE person to blame: ME!

I chose to tell my clients I could fix any and all problems they had. I chose to answer my phone at midnight on a Saturday and to jump on a plane first thing in the morning.

I made those choices.

And in the midst of all this running around and people pleasing, I would go on and on about how this always happened to me. People always treated me like this. And even if I switched jobs, location, friends, etc., nothing would ever change.

Being a victim is annoying. What’s even more annoying is listening to someone go on and on about their victimhood.

There’s a common denominator to all of your problems — and successes — YOU.

Unfortunately, many of us wrap ourselves in a cocoon of busy-ness to avoid dealing with our lives and ourselves. We don’t want to face the music — that we are in control — so we waste all sorts of time, money, energy, and resources to create a lot of noise around us so that we don’t have to hear the voice inside our own head and heart.

The voice telling us that we are worthy. Worthy of whatever it is we want. The voice telling us that we have the power to choose.

What you choose to do and not do is your choice. If it’s a priority, you’ll find the time. If it’s not, you’ll probably say you are too busy. Instead, own your decision and be honest about it.

Amazingly enough, since I’ve dropped the “I’m busy” script, I’m actually more productive and consciously decide on whom and what I want to spend my time, which makes me a helluva lot happier and more well rested.

No more excuses. What I do is a choice, and I own all of them, good and bad.


Marie DelcioppoMarie Delcioppo is the found of Lush Vitality — the source for all things body, mind, food, fitness, and home. After working in crisis communications and corporate PR, Marie started her own full-service marketing agency for lifestyle brands, which she still continues to own and operate. She also owned a Pilates studio for 10 years and, after wanting to be more location-independent, now travels, teaching fitness and nutrition workshops around the country, and conducts online wellness programs.

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5 Replies to “Is ‘I’m Busy’ the Socially Acceptable Way of Saying ‘Eff You?’ by @mariedelcioppo”

  1. Health Mall

    Nice post and thanks for sharing.

  2. Jensee

    Wow! Really? I mean this may have been true for you. But it seems you’re still bathing in negativity. Some people ARE busy.

    Busy-ness doesn’t mean wallowing in negativity. True busy-ness is having important things to do like take care of an injured parent and homeschooling a 7 year old while taking care of a house and husband. All the while attending college and working two part time jobs and carrying an 8-month fetus in my belly. Do I still have time for my family and friends? Absolutely. That’s a part of the busy-ness.

    Sounds like you weren’t busy. Sounds like something else is going on there.

  3. Judy Yaron PhD

    I’m busy = Arrogance! Like that :)It’s a need to let you know how important they are .., And you are soo right, Marie, it’s an indication of poor time management skills!

    I think it was Ken Blanchard who describes a manager working on the weekend when his employees are all out playing golf and asks: “What’s wrong with this picture?” His claim is that a good manager is one who can go home at 5 and have a life …

    Happy for you that you have made this discovery and getting back your life. ENJOY! HUGS <3

  4. Kendra @PortaPocketGal

    Love this post. THANK YOU!! So true. We really do need to be reminded of this.

    1. Marie Delcioppo

      Thank you so much, Kendra! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I have to remind myself of these things too! We are all always works in progress, right? Have a fantastic week! And thanks again for taking the time to comment. <3

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