When its a decision of granting someone the freedom to do something proactive that they told you/decided they would do or to free them of a burden they gave themselves out of kindness, what do you do?
Respecting someone's freedom versus giving them permission not to do something out of empathy
Earlier today my dad started searching for a coupon in his car for me like he promised he would do. I figured it must be in the same spot I saw it last time and told him this. He told me that was the last place he saw it too. I figured if it wasn't there he probably wouldn't find it. He probably threw it away like he was saying was a possibility before.
Well halfway through his searching he told me of his progress and that he hadn't found it yet. He said he was going to keep looking for it so I didn't want to intrude in his freedom even though I didn't think it was that big a deal. My dad told me that I needed to clean my room, sort of passive aggressively, even though he has two rooms and a car that are messy and all I have is a tiny room. I thought it was kind of odd taht I at the last second realized that I could have said that he didn't need to bother with looking for the coupon if he hadn't found it yet. That would be the "nice" thing to do.
But it seems like either way I was in a position where I was giving him permission, spoken or not. And I think it is a little uncomfortable that I wasn't more perceptive of his feelings. But I understand why I made the choice I made at the same time. In decisions, I think I usually default to letting people do what they want to do.