OpinionViews

What to expect in a conversation with a big man and how to survive

  1. Long Silence

When you send message to a big man try not to expect any answer. If the answer comes then you will appreciate it. If he is a nice person he will tell you he is just seeing it. If he is the regular big man he may not answer until you prompt him again, then he will feel disturbed.

Now you have to make up your mind on how much you want what you want from him. If you are desperate please disturb him, he will help you out because of the disturbance. He will help you out just to find peace. In my observation it is the main reason they help anyone. The polite ones that give them time and space can’t get to them enough. But if you are particular about your self respect and dignity then you can back off when he didn’t answer the first message. Big men do the help they want to do by themselves. They hate the one you ask for, but can sha help just so that you stop disturbing them. Afterwards they are usually happy they did.

  1. Short Answers

Be ready. You can say “Good morning sir, how is family, hope you are well. I just saw you drive pass I didn’t want to distract. I am sure the kids are doing well, please my regards to my little boy hope he is not eating all the chocolate in the house as usual” and his reply will be “Well done” or “tnx” or “morning”. If you want to send a big man message please have a thick skin for this or don’t send. Again if you did not expect any answer as suggested above then maybe the “tnx” will be enough for you. The problem usually comes when both of you are friends only your beans never done.

I am not saying they don’t have excuse oh. Just preparing your mind. The way to get out of this is to only message big men when there is an absolute need and there is something tangible that needs to be done. In what will appear as their defence, pleasantries that are only meant as introduction to a request is annoying to anyone, my broke buttocks inclusive. I feel if you want to ask for a favour don’t manipulate me with asking for the wellbeing of my grandmother’s cousin first. Now imagine how a big man with many requests will feel. So as a solution, keep the pleasantries short when you have a request and follow the request up with the pleasantry.

But note that this is a solution to your not irritating them. It does not really help you get what you want. If you want to get what you want the big man only understands one language….pressure. Please ask of his neighbour’s dog. He will want to quickly get you off his neck. For those of us who can’t stand the shame, I understand. We are in the same WhatsApp group.

  1. Uncertainty

Don’t expect a big man to tell you where your conversations or negotiation is. Be ok with “ok, fine, I see, noted” or silence. And don’t try to get them to commit to where the talk is. Oh I forgot to add “let me see what I can do”, because that one is good but then uncertainty demands that this actually means if you hear from me fine, if you don’t then don’t ask again because you have to assume I am seeing what I can do already.

You have to deal with this uncertainty with care, for the sake of your self respect. But if you want to get what you want to get my observation is that you have to keep pushing. A good push can be “oh thank you sir, when can I check back?” Or some “wow, thanks sir. I knew I could count on you” as you know nobody wants you to find out what you thought of good about them was wrong.

Finally, to keep your respect, never ask big men for favours. They hate it, it irritates them and makes them at the very least uncomfortable. Allow them do for you what they can. Allow them contact you when they want to. And try to see them as victims and don’t hate them for their money and power or attitude; that will make you a better person because patience is a virtue and virtues are more important than material possession that may come and go.

Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri is CEO at Minhaj Publicity, Benin City.

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