Do not sow flowers in gardens of people who will not water them

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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Our resources are limited. Our energy is not inexhaustible, in the same way as our time and attention. This means we need to be more careful when deciding what we invest them in.

Unfortunately, we are often not fully aware that our emotional and cognitive resources are limited, so we end up wasting them, engaging in activities that aren't worth it or connecting with people who don't appreciate them.

Don't strain yourself for someone who doesn't appreciate what you do

Compassion and the ability to help others are characteristics that ennoble us and allow us to grow as people. But everything has a limit, beyond which you could start hurting yourself without realizing it and without the other person appreciating it.



How do you know when you are straining in vain?

- When you try harder for the other person than she does

- When your level of compromise is greater than that of the person you are trying to help

- When you risk a lot to help someone, but that person risks practically nothing for himself

- When you are consuming too much on the way, but the other person is not willing to invest the same amount of energy

- When that person doesn't value your time, commitment and dedication

- When that person would not be willing to do the same for you

In these cases, it would be worth asking whether it is really worth wasting so much energy, time and effort on planting flowers that no one will water, since the person you are helping does not care.

Remember that there are situations where the best way to help is not to. If your intervention takes on overprotective tones, in fact, you could even prevent the person from growing and learning the lesson. After all, it does not mature with the years, but with the damage.



An unhealthy balance in which one is consumed and the other is not compromised

In many interpersonal relationships, in couples, between parents and children or between friends, an unhealthy balance is established in which one always acts as a lifeline while the other just clings to him.

Thus, the person who assumes the role of "savior" ends up consuming himself, receiving practically nothing in return. And the person who is "saved" cannot grow, because he feels too comfortable in his role.

Basically, it's like you have to plant flowers all the time because, since the other person doesn't take their share of the responsibility and doesn't water them, they always end up drying out. Obviously, this is an unhealthy behavior that no one would repeat, but in interpersonal relationships, particularly when feelings are involved, it is not always easy to realize that we are planting flowers in the desert.

This does not mean that we should abandon that person to their fate, but it certainly is a sign that we are not on the right track. Perhaps that person is too selfish to acknowledge your commitment, perhaps they are unwilling to take the responsibility and commitment required by the situation, or perhaps they just don't realize the effort you are making to help them.

In fact, the main problem with this insane balance is that you give, compromise, and take on much more responsibility than the other person to solve a problem that isn't yours.

We all need and deserve to be loved, recognized and supported

This is not a quid pro quo. But we all need to know that there are people who love us, support us and recognize our efforts. If we give continuously without receiving anything in return, we should not be surprised if one day, looking within ourselves, we perceive a huge emotional emptiness.



Therefore, while this does not mean that we should only help those who can return the favor, it is important that we use our time and energy with those people who truly recognize our efforts and, above all, are willing to commit and take responsibility, not with us, but with themselves, with the process of change and improvement that they have begun.

What is the solution? You should simply not sow, but help sow the flowers, making it clear from the start that you are willing to help but that the ultimate responsibility is not yours and, therefore, you expect the same commitment and effort from the other person. .


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