When someone does a good deed, do you feel the need to do something nice in return?
It’s an age-old question, one that I know divides many people. I myself often feel the need to return the favour. But not everyone feels the same – I know my friend Maz would disagree! Some prefer to do kind things as and when they want to, without feeling the need to reciprocate other people’s good deeds at the same time.
Good Deeds – Give or Return?
Random acts of kindness! Some of the most unexpected moments of good will can be the most memorable. Gestures both big and small – from a surprise birthday party, to a random stranger complimenting your new haircut. I recommend you try to perform at least three of these a day, even if it is just smiling at a stranger, or holding a door open for someone.
Of course, it’s practically human nature to want to return kindness at the same time. People want to please others, and you tend to have almost an unconscious mind that goes ‘Hey, I can be just as nice of a person as they are!’. Not so much a competition, but more of a proof of self-worth.
Either way, both situations appear positive enough. But like any coin, there’s another side to this argument.
You Don’t Give to Receive
It reminds me of Christmas cards (yes, I know, hard to think about in April!!).
Back in the day my mum and I would write hundreds of cards, every year, to everyone we knew. And whenever anyone received one without giving us one back, my mum in particular was always very over the place about it. Even when it was just a random neighbour.
Yet the old saying goes ‘You don’t give to receive.’
At first, I felt the same, most likely behaviour I would’ve picked up from her. But eventually, I realised that it just wasn’t worth the stress. So now I rarely even write Christmas cards anymore, usually it’s just the odd text.
To Give Unconditionally
The thing is, whilst it’s good to want to return favours and good deeds, it doesn’t mean we should do them in the first place to expect one back. Expectations can be toxic – you can read about that in last week’s blog here.
Whilst I don’t want to consider myself a ‘people-pleaser’, I do like helping people. After all, it’s part of my WHY. But I also know that help can’t and won’t always be returned. And that doesn’t make someone bad. Everyone is different, everyone has their own unique blueprint.
Besides, I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and the good you bring into the world always comes back to you. Often from a different direction. Life does work in mysterious ways.
My Gift to You
So, here’s something I’d like to offer to you – without needing anything in return!!
On 27th April Jane and I will be hosting our next Strictly Come Speaking event in Manchester. Tickets are free, and we’d love to see you there! But spaces are limited, so hurry and reserve your seat by clicking here!
PS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘Great Expectations‘
“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”