How many times have you asked a favor from someone? How many times have you been asked for a favor? It seems impossible to be not be on either side of that at many points in life. But when someone asks for a favor, are you creating a debt for that person? Is this something you are expecting them to return at some point? Because by definition, that is not a favor.
I like to think that I will usually help, unless there is no way I can. I’ve helped people move, watched kids, given money, and even given advice. Usually the advice I throw in unasked, but that is neither here nor there. I often offer to help when not asked also. It’s just the way I was raised to do things. But it has burned me a few times, because I had expectations of a return of some sort.
Maybe you don’t know you do it. Maybe you’re getting mad or upset with someone for not giving that $20 back that you gave them 2 weeks ago, and you know payday was Friday. And maybe they avoid you because they also know, you know, it was payday, and they didn’t have the money they thought they would. I have been on both sides. Personally, if I couldn’t pay back, I would avoid the person because I don’t want it to seem like I am coming up with excuses. I know they want the money back, and I want to give it back. But if I give it to them, I will be asking for it again in the next couple days. I didn’t want to let them down. But there is created, an unnecessary stress or strain on the relationship.
I have since changed my views in these dealings. If I give you money, it was a gift. If you choose to pay it back, that is your conscious. I never expect it back. Once the money has left my hand, it is no longer mine. If I couldn’t afford to lose it, I shouldn’t have given it out. It has made things a lot easier on me. And the same thing goes for my time. If I give you my time to help you with something, it was a gift. No need to return it, unless you feel you need to. But on the other side of the situation, if you help me, I feel I owe you. Mostly because I am extremely appreciative of the help, and I show my appreciation by help you in whatever way I can.
In short, people helping people is a great thing. There are a lot of situational grey areas that aren’t detailed in my short message. Some people will still try to take advantage of a person trying to help. But that shouldn’t detour you from trying. You would be surprised what a kind gesture will do for someone that is in a bad spot. The emotional return of knowing you could help is as rewarding as it gets.