Generosity is good for us. Giving can be enormously rewarding. In fact, numerous studies have shown that people who participate in volunteer activities not only show greater satisfaction, but also live longer.
However, we also have the right to receive. Giving continuously without receiving anything in return can be tiring and disparaging. If we feel that we are giving so much and receiving nothing, we will end up disenchanted. The lack of reciprocity feeds a negative circle.
Make sure the people you care about correspond to you
Happiness is not simply giving. It is true that in the selfless act of helping others we can find enormous satisfaction. But everyone has emotional needs that need to be met, one of the most important being the need to be loved and understood. So we cannot give and give, we must also make sure we receive.
Of course, it doesn't mean that we should be selfish, that we should limit ourselves to giving only to those who have something to offer. The idea of giving in order to receive something in return cancels in one fell swoop all the advantages of helping others and giving selflessly.
It is about making sure that the people who are important to us somehow compensate for our offer, because otherwise we will end up adopting a servile posture, we will dedicate ourselves to meeting the emotional needs of others at the expense of our own and in the long run a relationship will develop. unhealthy, which we ourselves have helped to build.
In a couple relationship, for example, when only one member gives and receives nothing in return, he will end up disillusioned and unload all the frustration on the other or on himself. In this case, a toxic relationship is created in which the person is unable to satisfy their emotional needs and, in this way, their psychological balance and their health will pay the consequences.
How do you know if you are giving too much?
- You feel emotionally exhausted, because the person you are giving a part of yourself to is literally sucking your energy.
- You feel disenchanted, since giving without receiving ends by stifling hopes, so it is understandable that disillusionment finds fertile ground within you.
- You feel empty, as systematic giving can end up consuming your feelings, especially when they repeatedly hit the wall of indifference.
- You feel dissatisfied, which is perfectly understandable since you are probably putting the needs of others ahead of your own.
- You feel offended, because the other person does not recognize your effort and commitment.
Do you give, do you receive or ask?
The problem with giving too much without receiving anything is that the people around you have become accustomed to maintaining this type of relationship and are likely to demand more and more, adopting a selfish attitude.
When these kinds of relationships are established, the person receiving them can start to feel very good in their role, so they are likely to turn into someone always asking, believing they have rights over you. In the end, what you give with pleasure becomes an obligation. At that precise moment, the benefits of giving vanish.
In fact, in interpersonal relationships there are different roles related to the process of giving and receiving:
- Donor. They are the people who are always willing to give without asking for anything in return. These people deny themselves the right to be happy in order to please others. In many cases these are parents who sacrifice themselves, children who offer themselves or partners who give up.
- Receiver. They are people used to receiving without giving anything in return. This attitude usually comes from childhood, but is later perpetuated in relationships with couples and friends. These people are very demanding, adopt a narcissistic attitude or, on the contrary, they are the eternal victims.
- Balancer. They are people who try to find a balance between giving and receiving in interpersonal relationships. They almost always behave in a sensitive and respectful manner as they try to satisfy their emotional needs and, at the same time, those of others.
Finally, we also find the "false donors". These are people who pretend to be generous but really give just to get something in return and don't hesitate to claim each of their favors. For these people, interpersonal relationships are only commercial exchanges in which they must always receive something in return.
Be aware of what we deserve
Interpersonal relationships are complicated and it is difficult to find a balance. In most relationships, there is always someone who wants more, who is willing to sacrifice more or give more. Obviously it is not even a question of looking for a strict quid pro quo, which transforms the relationship into a commercial exchange, but we must keep in mind that the heart needs rewards.
This does not mean that we should expect favors or a reward for the effort made or the time dedicated, but it is important that the person we often put before our needs is able to recognize what we do for them and, when the time comes, we rewards.
It is important to be aware that we deserve attention, understanding, respect, support and love. These basic needs must be met in any intimate relationship, otherwise you end up in pain and a lot.
We can help make the people we love happy, without having to pay with our happiness. It is not worth moving seas and mountains for a person who is not willing to lift a finger for us. And it's not a question of selfishness, but of self-love and emotional survival.