Thursday, August 7, 2008

Giving


Sometimes when I do obscure or even normal words, I like to google the word plus the word photo and see what comes up. This was one of the photos. Have you ever read The Giving Tree? If not, you should. It actually is a good intro to this post because of the controversy surrounding the book's message.

Giving seems like it should be a simple thing but it can get so complicated. That's the nature of us humans - to complicate things.

Ask and you shall receive. Not always, but you may. How can my husband be upset that 6 people helped me the first day I owned the house while he's painting by himself in his kitchen? If you don't ask for help, not everyone knows you need it or want it. If he wants to create a world in which he thinks he has no friends, well so be it. It would make me incredibly sad if he did, and I constantly say that he DOES have friends, but it's no longer my job to help organize his life. Never should have been, but I took it on.

Why do some people get upset if you don't accept the level of help they want to give? In some cases, like my ex boyfriend of long ago, I felt it was a form of control. I do this for you and you are indebted to me. Or at least there's a stronger bond that will make it difficult for you to leave. But is this always the case? Or are some people so dependent on helping others in order to make themselves feel better, to the detriment of themselves sometimes? Or is it just how they were raised and has nothing to do with a self esteem issue? I asked my door friend guy yesterday to help me go get my cell phone charger from where I used to live in the 'hood, and he was happy that I asked and happy to help. But then gets upset when I say no thank you to giving me lunch. Reactions like that make me so mad. Why? Partly because I feel it disrespects me - I'm an adult and can say no thank you. But perhaps there's a better response?

I have received so much help in the past few months that I know likely I can never 'repay' it. Some friends recently began asking me over for dinner with no expectation of bringing anything - just eat and go work on the house. Another friend who works his ass off during the day came last night and did my plumbing for the washer and utility sink. As someone said to me one time, sometimes you just have to accept kindness from others. And I've learned to accept it, but I will never take it for granted. If I do, shoot me.

17 comments:

Susan said...

I'll keep my .9 handy. :)

I'm going to sit here and pretend your plumber friend looks like the guy off desperate housewives. Grr...

NoRegrets said...

Oh, thanks for that vote of confidence! ;-)

You know, he's not too far off. Taller though - at least 6'4". Climber too. And available. And 44 or so. See, you need to come meet my friends.

Susan said...

Ok, now I will ask the question as to why you aren't meeting him at your door with a glass of lemonade constantly?? Whew woman, we need not talk about hotness today. I'm already a hot mess I tell you.

NoRegrets said...

He has two quirks that would drive me nuts to have any sort of relationship with him, and the circle is too close to have a fling. EG, he's the one taking my husband out of the house climbing or whatever so he's not around when I move Saturday.

Susan said...

No flings? That makes me sad deep down inside.

NoRegrets said...

No flings with HIM, dearie.

The CEO said...

I'll still install the digital thermostat if you want.

M. Robert Turnage said...

When I was a baby, I was asked to "Gimmie five!" I did and the experience was such a thrill, so joyous, that I try to give whenever possible. Unless, of course, someone quickly pulls their hand away and tells me I'm too slow.

laura b. said...

I too have found that both giving and receiving help can be as complicated as the people involved. Motives, strings, hidden agendas. Still, people sometimes need help and it can be very rewarding to give help! I guess I'm just rambling...

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I'm guilty I love giving it makes me feel just as good as the person receiving. But not in a high in mighty way, more in a pay it forward kind of way. However some people think you give to show off, I find that's because people project who they are on you. Hence when they give there is an ulterior motive.

So many people gave and invested in me to get me where I am I don't mind giving and I don't expect anything in return, well a thanks would be nice! *lol*

-OG

NoRegrets said...

CEO, I'm not sure what thermostat you are talking about... And I might already have one.
MRT - awww, what a tale of childhood sweetness... I think.
Laura, rambling is good.
OG - yeah, a thanks is a good thing, and can be irritating if you don't get it. I know, giving makes me feel good too...

evil-e said...

I hate asking for help...I will get it myself.

I like to give help to certain people. Not everyone, only those who deserve my help. If they want me to back off, I do.

Churlita said...

I'm trying hard to be better about asking for help. You could just have a dinner and invite everyone who helped you over once you get set up at your new place. it would be fun for everyone.

Mel said...

I'm not even going to pretend that I'm good at asking for help.

Though I am an awesome helper!

Pride and ego, pride and ego....sheeeshhh....they still get the better of me...

NoRegrets said...

Evile-that's teh way to go
Churlita - you know, you help people so you should let them help you. asking doesn't make it bad. yeah, the dinner is planned. but there are one or two who are going way above and beyond...
Mel, well, smack yourself upside the head!

Tera said...

You know it burns me up when people think that I am supposed to GUESS what they need me to do for them! I am a firm believer in that "a closed mouth don't get fed!!!"

Glamourpuss said...

You're right - the universe can be generous and often accepting abundance is the hardest part (it definitely is for me). Give yourself a huge pat on the back because you're right, when people give freely, it is churlish not to accept graciously.

Puss