Sep. 22nd, 2016

lonespark: Miko from Stargate:Atlantis (Miko)
There's this thing people do that's pretty awful.

I myself have done it lots (I hope not lately? Or at least less... Argh, of course I've done it on recent occasions, at least to my kids...)

Where you do something that someone asks or you offer, that's good for you and them and helpful to them in that instance.

And then you keep doing it, but the cost adds up, or you say yes when you don't want to, and each time it builds to be less "This is thing that's mutually good and we are friends or friendly acquaintances/neighbors/colleagues/etc," and more "I am SUFFERING to HELP YOU and YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL!!!"

And one day it's too much, and you have to stop or say no. But probably for whatever reason the other person doesn't understand that you were doing this to help them or it was hurting you. They think you're still in Mutual Benefit Land because they like you and don't want to hurt you or take advantage. And maybe it's not even particularly helpful at all or anymore? Certainly not to the extent you feel like it needs to be to justify your efforts...

And misunderstanding and hurt and ROCKS FALL EVERYTHING IS CRAP.

Please don't do this.


Fill your own cup first! Keep yourself happy first!
Very few people want your magnanimous pity dressed up as help or friendship.

And if you are doing this you are making any issues in their life about you. Whereas your life IS about you and you don't need to justify that!

In my experience, recent and lifelong, this is a huge thing with a certain variety of Nice Liberal White Lady. The ones I've known and been have been Protestant and New England-associated... (My mom is a champion of this, sometimes in a really passive-agressive conflict-averse communication style way, but more often just a... Selfishness is the worst! sin! ever! kind of way...)

And of course organizations and institutions do this, from churches to governments to extended families and political tit for tat. The actual politician version makes more sense to me because it's obvious and calculating and people aren't expecting the same degree of good faith.


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