How do you want to choose your battles?

Choose your Battles!

I’m going to tell you a story that happened on our return from our 3-week camping adventure. We had house sitters come and stay because we couldn’t take little Buddy, my chihuahua, with us on this camping adventure. We have used house sitters before with great success. They take really good care of Buddy, and we come home, and the house is spotless. It’s immaculately clean and it’s so lovely. 

Not this time, unfortunately……

This time, we walk into the house, and the first thing I see are cleaning cloths and dirty towels all over the kitchen bench. The dirty bath mat is draped over a chair in the dining room. I walk around the corner to the spare bedroom where the house sitters had been staying and their dirty sheets are still on the unmade bed. Then I walk further down to the bathroom and the shower screen is still covered in soap scum and drips of shampoo and conditioner.  

I check the toilet and it was disgusting.  I lifted up the seat and there’s all urine all under the seat….. at this point I’m on the verge of being sick, because I feel so disgusted that people could leave our house in such a condition.

At the very least, I would expect that the house sitters would leave the house as we left it for them. But in our experience, they usually give it a super duper clean and it’s just immaculate when we return. 

I was shocked and horrified to see the state of our house and I suppose I felt a little disrespected as well because this is our home.  It is not a hotel where the maid comes to clean up after you!

Anyway, enough of the horrific experience of those house sitters not cleaning our house….. the question to contemplate next is….. what am I going to do about it?

Watch the video to find out more……. 

Would you rather keep reading……? Ok here’s the rest of the story….

Highly Sensitive People are often very passionate about standing up for injustices and want to look after other people.  Another trait of HSPs is, we tend to put other people before ourselves, and our needs. 

I was thinking, maybe I could leave a review about these house sitters, because what I was trying to do was be a good citizen, and let other home owners be prepared, or at least be aware that if they choose these house sitters, they’re going to have to do a lot of cleaning when they return from their holiday. 

I was a little bit nervous about doing that, because I don’t like writing negative things about people, but my desire to protect other home owners was greater than my discomfort for writing something negative about somebody.

One more thing, they didn’t leave a note! They didn’t apologize for why the place was in such a state!

They even called a few hours after they left and said “Oh! Just wondering if everything’s okay?” What the?!?!

They seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that the house was a pigsty! 

I decided I wasn’t going to write a negative review, without letting them know, or giving them a chance to perhaps explain….. maybe they had to raise off to hospital. Who knows? 

I sent them a polite text and said “Thank you so much for looking after Buddy.  We’ve had quite a few house sitters in the past, and so when we got home we were expecting a little more than what we saw.” 

And then I explained the things that I had an issue with. The barbecue wasn’t clean, the bedroom where they slept wasn’t clean, the bed wasn’t even stripped, the toilet hadn’t been cleaned. 

The response I got was “I did clean the toilet and I replaced the gas bottle on the barbecue.” 

This still didn’t address the fact that the house was just as I mentioned earlier ….. a pigsty! 

The fact that they don’t even realize how bad they are, is perhaps even more reason other homeowners need to be made aware.  I decided to write a review. 

As you can probably guess…… a very horrible response was written back about me, and about Buddy, and about the house.  They retaliated with some lies and they also raised supposed issues that occurred while they were house sitting, which we knew nothing about because they never brought anything to our attention!  I was so upset……

As a result of me trying to do the right thing, I end up with a horrible review written about me that goes on my profile on the website that all future potential house sitters can read……!!

Finally I will return to my topic and make the link! Choose your battles.  

When faced with a situation like this, where you are tempted to ‘do the right thing’, or stick up for someone else at the risk of getting your own head chopped up, try to think about the potential impact on you, the stress, and the potential upset.  

Ask yourself…. Is it worth it?  Can I cope with the potential results,  if I’m going to take on this fight? Choose your battles!

I decided that the really negative review that was full of lies on my profile wasn’t worth it, when all I wanted to do was to protect other people from having the same experience as me. 

I spoke to the website and they’ve taken my review of him down, and they’ve taken their review of me down.

The moral of the story is choose your battles, because sometimes the fall out is not worth it, especially if you’re doing it for somebody else.


Next time you are tempted to fight a battle like I was, then stop and have a think:  Can I cope with the fall out? Is the potential fall out on me worth it, if I’m just trying to help other people? Choose your battles!

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Comments 2

  1. Lisa ginbey
    November 17, 2019

    Loved this thanks jenn i too need to learn these boundaries, its not always best to be up front & honest which i do too. Always trying to help others often ends is back firing against us in a negative way. Its a learning curve daily for myself

    1. Jenn Turnham
      December 20, 2019

      thanks for the feedback Lisa! Perhaps you might like to do my next Boundaries Challenge in the Bright Sparks group – its currently planned for March 🙂

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