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Tony Grist

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An Unseasonal Truth [Dec. 14th, 2008|10:21 am]
Tony Grist
I'm sorry to say it, but Dickens was wrong. The Cratchitts would have hated the new, benevolent Scrooge even more than they hated the old, miserly one. You can't buy love by turning up on the doorstep cutting capers and waving a turkey by the neck. A benefactor- especially one there's no hope of repaying- is universally despised.

I've lost friends by being kind to them- and also because they were kind to me. Gifts- big one-sided gifts- can kill a relationship. Equality is replaced by obligation. Much better to sever the link than to be reminded every time you see a person's shining face that you owe them one. They say you should give anonymously so as not to reap the gratitude; I say you should give anonymously so as not to reap the resentment.

There are times when you have no choice but to give- because it's the only moral thing to do- but you shouldn't expect a reward. Rather the reverse.

[User Picture]From: litchick
2008-12-14 04:26 pm (UTC)
Good post, so true. I've especially found these issues when I was single and dating. If I went dutch with someone, I would assume they weren't interested romantically, but I guess there were a couple of men who respected my independence, while I was waiting for them to be gentlemen and insist on paying, even just once. So much is tied up with money and what it signifies. It demarcates who has the power in the relationship.

I've always tried to be generous. I can't say that it always works out too well. Sometimes though, I think it's more that the relationship is on the edge anyway, and a generous gift just reveals the fissures. It's then that the person walks, calling your bluff in a way.

Expecting less from people is my strategy. When in doubt, give anyway, receive graciously, and when you can, pay it forward.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-12-14 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, bring sex into the picture and things get even more complicated....:)

I've reached a point where I expect ingratitude. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt- because it does- but I think I understand why it happens- and it's only a short step from understanding to acceptance. My strategy now is to give- and then withdraw.
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