We need it to survive. Some people have extra. Some people just scrape by. I’ve seen both sides of this personally. Times where I had $15 in my checking account. Times where I’ve been able to treat others knowing I would be okay. Here’s the thing though, I’ve always given.
I’ve always felt that if I had it to give, that I should. Whether it’s food, clothes, an extra candle lying around, a book, or yes, even money. Any way that I could help another person when I’d been blessed seemed like a no brainer. I have come from a place of love. Trying to spread joy. Trying to be helpful. Trying to bless others through my own blessings. One of my favorite traits about myself is that I’m a bit naive. I try to see the good. Be the good. I try not to jump to the assumption that someone is coming from a bad place. It seems being naive in this area has started a trend that I didn’t even see before though. One that I’m going to stop now.
A remark was made to me a couple of months ago. One that made me stop and think. I’d offered to pay for something. The remark? ‘We get it. You have money.’ I remembered the remark this morning. Yes, two months later. My husband and I were discussing money. How we saw that it led people to behave. It changed priorities. Affected marriages and friendships. How it can be perceived when you’re the one who offers to pay for coffee or lunch consistently. He pointed out that people may see that as you, for a better lack of words, being a douche. Letting people know you have a little extra. As we talked it made me sad. That I may have made someone feel this way at some point. It also made me take inventory of how often anyone had offered to pay for me. How easily it is to be taken advantage of. Just this week on the Real Housewives of the OC (I love this franchise and make no apologies for this) one of the newer cast members reflected on this very topic. She was married to a billionaire. She’d take friends on extravagant trips and treated them constantly. She thought she had a great support system and was blessing others through her own blessings. Once her marriage was over though, these so called friends were gone. There was no support system. Just people who enjoyed what she could do for them vs enjoying her company or who she was as a person. All of this has opened my eyes beyond my own perspective or feelings.
Will I still help others? Of course. I won’t change my nature of giving just because others may make it into something negative or superficial. I don’t want to change who I am due to others actions. I will continue to give, just not in the same way that others may be use to. I’ll give my time, help, encouragement, a friend to listen on a bad day. Picking up the tab though? This habit I will break. I also don’t want others to pay for me either. What do I want then? To be loved for who I am, not for what I can do for you. To have friendships and people in my life based on authenticity. To not offend anyone. And yes, to go dutch.