I went on a vacation to a coffee plantation recently. After enjoying my stay there, on the last day, some of the kids of the coffee plantation workers played football (soccer) with my dad and my sister.
The ball they played with belonged to me and I had a lot of memories attached with that ball, as my friends had gifted it to me, and I don't meet these friends anymore, so now it's like the only thing I remember them by...
Just before we left from there, one of those kids came up to us and asked my dad if they could have a ball. My dad was probably unaware of the the ball's story, so he first said yes, and then decided to ask my permission. Knowing the circumstances (these coffee workers' kids live in poverty, and my dad had already promised them), I kinda made up my resolve to give it away. I did this quite unhappily, but I tried not to show it.
I guess I did the "right" thing, but that ball really meant something to me. My question is that to prevent these things happening in the future, I want to convince the other party without looking selfish or mean or evil... How do I do that diplomatically?
- I told my dad all about the ball's sentimental value to me when he asked if I could give it away. He wasn't exactly asking, but requesting, and I downplayed its value at the time.
- We weren't exactly in a city, so there weren't any shops for about a 15 km radius... So no ball to be brought later... I suppose we could have mailed them a ball, but the kids were actually told by the supervisor of the coffee estate not to ask for things. Hence, sending it would probably result in them not being allowed to keep it.