Have you ever helped someone and next thing you know they turn on you?
Here you are all set for a Sunday afternoon watching the playoffs—got your cold drink, chips, feet propped up—when the phone rings. It’s your friend, he’s moving and one of the guys didn’t show can you help him out. He’s a close buddy so you go. Then he hits you up for grocery money, says he spent all his dough on the move.
Couple of months later this friend is supposed to help you install kitchen cabinets. You call, but he’s working at his dad’s restaurant. Come to find out he was at the beach. Things had been strained ever since you lent him the money, which he didn’t pay back, and now there’s a real rift in the relationship.
Ever been here? Your friend calls in tears ‘cause she’s being kicked out of her apartment. The rent is due and she doesn’t have the money. She won’t come right out and ask but knows that you can help. You think of the times you helped in the past and she has made no attempt to pay you back. Yet, she buys new clothes, goes out, etc. There have been arguments over this, which has put a strain on the friendship.
And then there is: The hard-working couple who just can’t seem to make it. Mom and dad are always bailing them out, watching the kids, running interference with the rest of the family … who resent the favoritism.
I think most of us have been in a similar situation. We have helped friends/family in a time of need, lent money when they were desperate, or bailed them out of a serious problem. Yet, when all is said and done they resent us. Why?
People begrudge you doing for them what they can’t do for themselves. The needy want to be in your shoes, want to be you. Doesn’t matter if they made their own bed; created their own problems. At the time of the crisis they feel helpless and vulnerable, embarrassed—especially if you have helped them in the past. And the more you give, the bigger the strain on the relationship. Your kindness may be rewarded with backbiting, even lies. It can lead to the loss of a friendship, or a long estrangement with a family member.
It’s not only people; this is also true of countries. No nation in the world helps other countries as much as America … still, they hate us.
Food for thought isn’t it?
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full
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