Many people are in relationship where they are either worried they will be taken advantage of or feel as if their partner is already taking advantage of their good nature. It would be difficult to find someone out there who honestly never felt taken advantage on in their relationship.
No one likes feeling as if they are giving too much in their relationship or giving more than they are getting back in return. Luckily, there is actually a secret that can help people to avoid being taken advantage of or “over giving” in their relationships.
Before you are about to give anything to someone else, whether it be your time, a compliment, money, sex, a gift, kind gesture, or even a “yes” to an inquiry, ask yourself it you would be ok with any one of the possible responses they could offer you after you gave your gift.
Keep in mind that any response could mean a number of things. Any response would include a great number of things.
Say you are planning on giving someone a stunning bouquet of daisies. Before you offer this gesture to someone try to think of every possible response that could come from the other person.
They could be delight with the flowers and thank you or they could be upset because they detest daisies. Maybe they will throw them away in front of you. They could have no obvious response to the flowers and appear to ignore them. They might take your lovely flowers and give them to someone else they fancy.
You can’t control what the person does after you give them something but we oftentimes forget this. We can easily get into a pattern of giving something to get something in return. We get into a bartering pattern.
I’ll do this for you but I need you to do something for me. I’ll give you space so you can play golf with your friend but I need you to return the favor and show me attention or tell me how great I am.
When we give with an agenda or give to get something in return we often end up saying ‘yes’ to things we want to say “no” to. We then feel shortchanged or taken advantage of.
We start keeping track of all the “nice things” we have done for our partner and become angry when they don’t give us what we want. But can we really call them nice things when we are really giving so we can get something in return?
Why do we give when we don’t want to give?
We have briefly discussed how we can easily get into the habit of giving so that we can get something in return. But why do we do this? Why do we try to manipulate people into giving us the type of response we desire?
The manipulation that people use to get a desired response after giving something is not as malicious as it sounds. We use manipulation to get a reflected sense of self. In other words we try to manipulate others so we can feel good about ourself. We manipulate others so we can feel lovable. We want to experience love.
When you have an agenda in giving you can be sure that there is fear somewhere in the mix. The fear may be subtle but it’s there.
The fear we experience may be the fear that I will lose this person if I don’t say “yes”. It may be the fear that you will lose approval of another person. It may be anxiety that you most do something to earn another’s love. It may be that unless you make this sacrifice you worry that you will not be a “good partner”, desirable or, lovable.
It is safe to say that we try to manipulate so that we can experience love. This desired love may take on many different forms but at the root its all the same. We all want to feel love but we oftentimes don’t understand what we can do to experience it.
How does one feel love?
When we feel love we oftentimes mistake it as coming from another person. What we don’t understand, in this case, is that the love we feel is not coming from that other person it’s coming from you. The love you feel is coming from you and reflecting off the other person.
The same way the sun reflects off tree leaves, cars and homes is that same way we experience love. When we are open and stop blocking our love we experience it shining on other people. We don’t have to do anything to be lovable, its our nature.
To experience our true nature we just have to stop blocking it. We block this love when we have expectations and agendas for how people and situations should be. We block this love by holding grudges.
The surest way to experience love is to forgive. True forgiveness brings you back to your natural Self. This Self is love.