Wise Words For Healthful Living
“The Hidden Price Of Giving”
by Lorna Anne
We’ve probably all heard the expression, “The gift is in the giving”, meaning that we feel good because we did something for someone else and they appreciated it.
In an ideal world, that’s how it should all work out, but sometimes there are hidden causes behind giving that are motivated by expected payback. The giver reasons this way: “Now that I’ve done something for you, you can do something in return for me that I want.” An interesting unspoken proposition that was not agreed upon on any conscious level between the giver and the receiver.
It is the excessive givers of whom one must be wary. What drives that giving impulse is usually a desire for control. Sometimes it is innocent enough, especially in youth, who want to be liked by everyone. They give everything that’s asked as a way of ensuring this. The bigger the sacrifice, the more they’ll be liked! That includes, for example, giving one’s body heedlessly to others, unconsciously hoping to get a relationship out of what might only be a one-night-stand.
Sometimes the giver is manipulative and is very aware of what they’re doing, only waiting for the opportunity to turn the tables and ask for a favor in return. This can backfire in several ways. The recipient (depending on who they are), may:
1) Take the gift and give nothing in return. They may completely walk away from the situation, feeling they got what they wanted. Time to get out of town. “See you later, fool!”
2) They could be grateful, but not reciprocate in the returns that are expected. They may be unaware of the giver’s hidden strategy, and not return the favor when demanded. The giver may feel taken for granted.
3) The givee can turn the tables and start to outdo the giver in giving, by always being ahead in the giving process, to avoid being beholden.
4) The receiver will do exactly what’s wanted in return, regardless of how much greater the second request is than the original favor. Eventually, the one who returns favors, even when it is disadvantageous to them, will eventually feel cheated; or, if their hidden agenda is to be liked, then two people are giving for the sake of getting. This is user friendly.
None of these really work. Here’s a new approach that solves the hidden price tag problem. 1) Don’t expect anything when you give, other than the good feeling you get from it. In the above example of sex, would there be such a willingness to give if it was known ahead of time that it was only a one-night-stand? When put in that perspective, that might change a few minds. Be clear on about expectations. 2) Let go of trying to control your reality, either aggressively or passively. Give freely and then get out of the way and let things happen. Sometimes a favor may return from a different source. The Universe has a way of evening up the score. There are most likely surprise gifts waiting somewhere from unexpected sources that you will even be happier to receive.
It’s amazing what will come around when one doesn’t sacrifice what is too high a price to give.