I taught a workshop this past weekend, and lots of the women could relate to it when I talked about how giving too much, or giving with an expectation of something in return (and not getting it) causes a big problem with resentment.
And we all know that resentment is like drinking poison, hoping it will hurt someone else!
As women, we’re pretty much wired to nurture, to give, and to take care of people. For the most part, if we do this in a way that’s authentic, and honors us, it causes us to feel good. Fulfilled. Happy.
BUT. If we’re giving, nurturing, doing, etc., because:
- It’s creating a debt that needs to be reciprocated
- It’s the way we earn approval
- We think we “should”
- We don’t trust anyone else to do it, or do it well enough
Then there is going to be hell to pay.
And we’re the ones who’ll pay the lion’s share of that bill…but we won’t be the only ones.
Because the people we expected something back from will eventually feel our resentment. But they can’t read our minds. And they weren’t in on the plan that you’d give xyz, and then it would be their turn to give xyz.
So all that happens is that they think it must be that time of the month for you, or you’re just a bitch and need to be ignored.
Which is like putting your resentment on steroids.
Here’s what to do instead:
- Do NOT give anything you’re not happy to give. The beauty of that plan is that the reward for doing/giving is already built in. You want to because it will make you feel good. You give. You feel good. Voila’!
- If you’ve been giving from that “other” place, and it’s been causing trouble, own what’s been going on – then explain that you’re going to change things up a little, and tell them what they can count on you for. And maybe what they’re not going to be getting any longer, or in the same way.??
Two things to keep in mind about #2:
- You want to alert people to a change in plans (it’s why cars are built with turn signals…so people get alerted to an upcoming change and know to adjust for it!), and
- Take care of your relationship and have the conversation from a place of love, not anger. They have not been trying to torture you; they’ve been receiving your gifts as gifts, not as a “trade”.
You’re the one who’s been doing that.
Follow these steps, and watch your level of satisfaction go right up – oh, and by the way, so will everyone else’s!