I noticed it first within the blogging world. Providing insight for those who were back-end website illiterate, to creating graphics, to sharing posts, and being a cheerleader for those who were rocking it. There’s something about seeing others do well that’s motivating, inspiring, and warming to the heart and mind. It’s also sometimes the “you can do it too,” push that you need, especially when you truly believe in their abilities.
Then I traced instances back to personal friendships, work partnerships, a few family mishaps and even a relationship. Keeping secrets, lending a helping hand in apartment hunting, job hunting, editing that presentation to the senior vice-president, providing that loan. All things done simply because it needed to be done, and there was no harm or second thought in doing them.
Until you realize that when it’s the other way around, not a lot of these things would be done for you. Where do you go from there?
I’m a firm believer of if you feel like it should be done, than you should do it, regardless of if it would be reciprocated or not, but there comes a point where one has to reel in the good deeds that are often second nature to them. There comes a moment where you putting forth the helping hand is an action of foolishness and naivety. There comes a time when you are being too nice, too available, and too respectful, because this thing of “you do for me, and I’ll do for you” is often so very much unbalanced. And it may have worked out well for Mother Theresa to be completely selfless, but that doesn’t always pay the bills or provide success.
Sometimes it’s okay to be choosey with who you support based on who is willing to support you. Sometimes politely saying, “No, unfortunately, I can not help you with that,” is the best way to go, in order to avoid spending energy that is not completely appreciated. Sometimes it’s okay to be petty, and to combat blatant disrespect, because you have to give respect in order to be adorned with it.
But if you do choose to go the other route, or hop from path to path, keep in mind that sometimes there will not be reciprocity.