One of my personal mantras is “Put Yourself First”. I came to this thought by observing that a person can give time, effort, affection and support to others but not always receive the time, effort, affection and support they need themselves. So I was nodding my head when my friend posted on her Facebook status yesterday,”What percentage of the LOVE that we GIVE AWAY is really EARNED? No more handouts, NO EXCEPTIONS! From this day forward ANYONE who gets MY LOVE will be DESERVING AND RECIPROCATE IT….(and pls spare me with the “love everyone” foolishness, thats NOT realistic!).” It also got me to thinking: its definitely important to put yourself first and invest in yourself – because you are your greatest asset. But how do you determine how much to invest in others?
Your Investment In Human Assets
“Investment is the commitment of money or capital to purchase financial instruments or other assets in order to gain profitable returns in form of interest, income, or appreciation of the value of the instrument.”
Your family, friends, coworkers and associates are the human instruments that you invest in. Do you expect to get profitable returns from your efforts? Or is your philosophy that you love and do for others unselfishly and don’t expect to get anything in return? I’m not trying to be funny, but if the latter is your answer, how is that working out for you?
In my experience – and I can only speak on my own experience – giving selflessly to others and not having requirements of them leads a person to feeling exhausted, taken for granted, underappreciated and unloved. I mean, think about it for a minute. You don’t work for free, teachers don’t teach for free, restaurants don’t provide food for free and car companies don’t provide free transportation. Why do you support, take care of, even love people and they don’t love you, support you or care for you in return?
How many one-sided friendships do you have? If you’re the giver and your friend is the taker, how often do you talk to them? How often do you hang out, perform favors, give your valuable advice, with nothing given to you?Your relationship with your parents isn’t one-sided – you both love each other, even if you don’t like each other (I’m just sayin’…). Why would you allow someone to just take your valuable energy – your valuable love – without replenishing you in the same manner?
The bottom line is, we teach others how to treat us. If you allow others to take from you, without requiring them to give back to you, you’re cheating yourself big-time. You’re just as worthy, special, and valuable as them – and if they don’t see that, they don’t deserve you, no matter who they are.
How To Receive Your Return
Quite simply, you don’t have to demand that people reciprocate what you give to them. If they don’t give to you as much or a similar level of what you give to them, just roll out. Don’t argue, don’t curse, don’t cry, don’t complain, don’t nag, don’t prod.
Just roll out.
People respond to action, not words. You vocally say “I give and give to you and you take me for granted” but your actions are saying “even though you take all I give, I’m still going to talk to you, hang out with you, do for you”. People don’t take you seriously when you do that. Just like a woman who repeatedly gets cheated on, but she stays, we look at you sideways. If its so wrong, and you dislike it so much, why are you still there?
When you disappear from a friend’s, family member’s, coworker’s life who does not reciprocate, that says that you have better things to do with your time than give it away for nothing. And honestly, you do. Its much better to give to people who want to give to you, who value you just as much as you value them, and you both are helping each other to reach higher heights.
If that’s not your style, then address it with them but don’t give if they don’t respond to your conversation. There’s no point in flushing money down a toilet on an investment that you won’t receive value from, and there’s no point in constantly giving and getting nothing in return, either.