disappointment, empathy, giving, life lessons, regret, selfish, shame, trust
It’s been awhile since I added a blog post. It hasn’t been for lack of events or excitement or disappointment … quite the opposite. It’s been because of all of those things that life has kept me busy and experiences have kept me humble.
But now … it’s time to write … about giving.
I’m a big fan. Like huge!! Those that know me well, know that I can give. And I give without conditions – it’s what my mom and dad both taught me. But giving without conditions doesn’t mean that we don’t give and feel disappointment. And giving doesn’t mean that we’re perfect or that we meet the expectations of others. But it does mean we have the capacity to give and that we use that capacity for good.
Today though, instead of just gripping about how much I gave and how poorly I feel I was treated in return … I’m going to give some suggestions for how you (and me!!) can do the former without receiving the latter.
- Let’s lower our expectations people … seriously – if we just take a moment to really analyze the situation and ask ourselves what is really possible (what can the other person / entity give, why would they be so inclined, what’s in it for them) … then we will understand the more realistic feeling we’ll receive, if for example, we severely miscalculate how much we should have given.
- Benefit / cost analysis … well, they do it in business school, why can’t it apply to real life?? Had I done this six months ago I might have seen that the potential costs would far outweigh the benefits and maybe (and only maybe, let’s me honest) .. smarter thoughts would have prevailed. And if not – then at least I would have given myself a fighting chance to duck out before diving in.
- Everyone else is not you … we give because we have empathy … excitement … trust … vision. But everyone else doesn’t necessarily view it from the same lens. So you have to get on the same page — (which has the added benefit of highlighting the disparity – but that is good because it’s best to make an informed mistake than be blindsided and lose all faith).
- Listen to your friends … You rely on them for a reason!! You call and text when life is good AND when it isn’t — precisely because you trust them. So trust them to see more clearly than you and then do exactly what they say — because in that moment – they are seriously 1000x smarter than you.
After all is said and done … I have no regrets. I can stand tall and be proud of what I gave. If people choose to not show respect or have appreciation … if they are so caught up in what is most important to them – and they lack empathy and the “doing the right thing” gene … then there isn’t anything I can do.
Now, karma might have another say in the story – and I’ll be okay with that. 🙂