As someone with anxiety, statements like these stress me out. Does “soonish” mean in ten minutes or an hour? The arvo is a long time, does it mean 1pm? 3pm? 4.23pm? When? Later? What? Argh!
Vague statements like this don’t answer my questions. They don’t allow me to prepare for whatever it is that’s coming. Do I have time to head to the post office to buy stamps before you arrive? What if something happens and I’m not ready? What if I arrive too early in the arvo and you’re busy with something?
I much prefer people give me specific times, or at least as close as possible to a specific time. Even “around three o’clock” is better than “later”. At least then I have an idea of what you expect and how long I have to get ready.
I get anxious when I don’t know whats going on. I hate being late. I hate the thought of keeping you waiting. I also don’t like not knowing what to expect. Without knowing specific times I have trouble planning my day and I’m someone who likes to know what’s coming next. I’m not a huge fan of surprises.
Knowing what time your coming or what time we are meeting also gives me time to prepare. I know that I have to get dressed and tidy the house by a certain time because that’s when your coming. Sometimes I need to mentally prepare myself if we’ve arranged to meet in a crowded or noisy space like a cafe. Giving me a specific time allows me to do what I need to do before the event happens.
I also don’t like to be early. If you tell me to “come over in the arvo” I worry that I’m going to interrupt you eating lunch or doing something else. If you give me an exact, or even rough time, I know that you are expecting me and that I’m not going to bother you.
I also really appreciate it when people tell me when there has been a change in plans. If the time has to change for whatever reason or if even if you’re just running a little late, it really helps ease the anxiety if I know what’s going on.
The problem with all this is that I also have trouble asking for what I need. I worry that asking you questions to clarify things will annoy you. Sometimes I do ask and am met with more vagueness. I don’t want to keep pestering you for answers and because of this I end up sitting in my anxiety trying to guess what is going on. I wish I could just let it go and be more relaxed about these things but I can’t. I like to have a plan and know exactly what’s going on.