It has occurred to me that I am far too nice. Too inclined to help people who need to help themselves. I would never want to be a selfish, unhelpful person. But there comes a point when helping others is an unjustifiable drain on one's own time and emotional energy. I knew someone a couple of years ago whose New Year's resolution was to reduce the number of takers in his life. I don't know if he was successful, but I think it's a good goal for me to incorporate into my life.
Sometimes we need to think more simply about our friendships. Contrary to the societal pressures to be friends with everyone, it is likely best to take a schoolyard view of friendships. There are kids who are fair weather friends, who invariably change their stories and talk behind your back, the ones who just want the cookies from your lunch but never share theirs, the ones who always have an ulterior motive. I've collected too many of these and will gladly let them go. It isn't my job to help them find happiness or whatever else they are after.
But I am incredibly lucky to have true friends, new and old, who say what they mean and mean what they say, who offer a hand when I need one and receive the same from me, who give and accept friendship without strings attached or expectations. Those friends are priceless and treasured.
Time to go do something just for me and one of my very best friends: a run in the sunshine with pup dog.
Makes sense to not be taken advantage of by your kindness. I offered to help others without asking for any in return quite often. I like helping others more than receiving it, although I do admit I could use some once in a while too. :-)ReplyDelete
If you're helping others, just learn to realize when it's gone too far and you might be okay.