Saturday, December 12, 2015

Don't Ever Expect Reciprocation

One of the hardest things some people are having to learn is how not to expect things from people.  Some of us we're taught at a very young age that if you do thoughtful things for people that it will return in twofold.  However it was never said that it would return from the people that you did the nice thing for.

I have a friend in his early 20's who is a really nice guy.  He will do almost anything for anyone, sometimes at his own expense.  What bothers him is that people will not do the same for him.  I totally get where he's coming from on this because I once felt like that.  It took me getting mad at myself over and over again until I realized that people aren't loyal to you for random acts of kindness.

I had to explain to him that like my dad, I always believed in helping people even if it meant going out of my way a bit.  However,  I had to learn how to say "no."  Some things aren't worth the stress that you'll endure.  It may be easier said than done for most people, but for me back then, it was very difficult to say "no" to something that I knew I was fully capable of doing.  I had to realize that everyone doesn't deserve your efforts.  Some people only deserve your minimum.

So when you bust your behind to accommodate someone, don't feel as if they're in debt to you.  They don't owe you anything other than a "thank you" and any agreed upon compensation you two may have.  But they don't owe you a favor, an undying friendship, or anything like that.

I explained to him that guys like him have a hard time understanding how it's so easy for him to be nice yet so hard to receive kindness in return.  I told that's a good quality to have, but it will cause more heartache in his future.  I wasn't trying to discourage him by any means, but I did want to let him know that a personality like that comes with a target.  People will take advantage of you because of your willingness to give.  It can be a friendship, relationship, or even family.

The bottom line is: I don't ever expect anyone to look out for me the way that I look out for them.  It may sound sad to say that, but disappointment is doubled when you have unrealistic expectations.  Gone are the days that I have faith in people to do the right thing.  That's not the world that we live in these days.  People look out for themselves and when they don't need you any more then you'll know it.

I still try to be a generous guy, but only to a certain extent.  And I only give 100% to people who may have done nice things for me in the past.  I know that it may not be the right attitude to have, but I just refuse to be disappointed again.

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