The Tom Sawyer Guide to Wriggling out of Unpleasant Tasks

The Tom Sawyer Guide to Wriggling out of Unpleasant Tasks
  • Opening Intro -

    Literature has given us one of our most adept "wiggle out" role models...Tom Sawyer.

    When you are faced with an unpleasant task sometimes convincing somebody else that it is not so bad and maybe actually fun is a great tactic.

    Learn from his example how to get out of doing things that are less than thrilling.


By Vincent King

The “misery loves company” approach serves a two-fold purpose. When the burden is shared the task is diminished and the time passes faster. Often the draftee will be so engrossed in the project that they will not even notice that your participation is somewhat less than active.

Even if you can not totally wiggle out, at least having someone to talk to who can also get the job done is a double bonus. It’s worth a try. Bribery works too. You can offer to keep them company on the next project.

2) Stand your moral ground. If you really don’t believe what you are being asked to do is in your best interest or your regular comfort zone, don’t be shy about expressing your reservations. People will respect someone who has firm beliefs and stands by them (or at least make it sound good).

3) Use psychology. Tap into a reason you are sure the requesting party will understand and use it to get your “get out of jail free” card.  For example, you can’t go to that business meeting due to illness in the family or a prior commitment to do volunteer work for a worthy cause. If your excuse seems to come from a good place, rather than a selfish one you stand a better chance at escaping unscathed and in good graces.

4) Use the barter system. Trade your time for a friend’s time. There may be skills that come really easy to you that a friend finds a real struggle and vice versa. Often a chore that seems positively heinous to you might be something that is actually quite enjoyable for your friend. If you can’t barter time and skills then you just might have to find it worth your while to actually pay somebody to handle it for you.

5) Confess and be vulnerable. Explain with conviction why you really don’t want to do what is being asked of you. Many times your candor can make quite an impression and elicit a sympathetic response that would not occur, should you just come off as selfish or lazy. When you appeal to somebody’s sense of understanding and compassion it’s like the old adage “you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar” (not that anybody in their right minds would want to attract flies, so I don’t know where that came from!)

6) Leave town!! You can deal with the fallout when you get back.

Author Information

Vincent King is a ghostwriter who excels at helping others wriggle out of their most dreaded writing tasks. You can follow him and the rest of the Ghostwriter Dad gang on Twitter!


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