As we get older in life we start to listen to the advice we’ve heard from the people that we thought were jaded. It’s not that we have become jaded ourselves but because we start to realize there’s another path. On said path is another way to get things accomplished but don’t confuse this new path to be easier. The trail is more ridged and scary in parts because it’s new and it feels weird to take a new path because we’re forced to do things we never thought we’d have to do.
Instead of tiptoeing around it the subject I’ll just jump right in, it’s about mutually beneficial relationships. I hate the term and sounds like a proposition rather than an actual belief to have in life. For women I think this term is very difficult because we want everyone to like us, we want to give all of ourselves and be selfless in all capacities with family, friends, work, networking, yoga, volunteering, et cetera. We all have a million things we’re into and because of it we have to learn how to pull back a bit and save the parts of us for the things that matter the most.
Personally, I’m slowly learning how to recognize a friend or someone that is a taker and using a relationship to benefit any small compartment of their life that they need me to help with. I get numerous questions for social media help because of my profession. I’ve always helped when I’ve been asked. I help anyone and everyone because it makes me feel good to know that I’m helping someone else.
Helping is on my list of addictions. I have very recently became a member of givers anonymous.
The weird part of self-actualization is that you can list what you do and then what others do. From there you can probably find the problem and it is usually within you because you’re the problem. If other people ask you for help and you don’t ever ask them for anything than your relationship is not mutually beneficial at all.
Just like asking someone for a recommendation, it’s a very important element of new positions because it means that person is willing to vouch for you; which makes their relationship with the person you’re referring a very uncomfortable warzone full of potential minefields that can be created if that introduction doesn’t work for either party after they move forward together. Only vouch for someone you have personally worked with otherwise it makes your recommendation false and unauthentic.
It’s like setting up two friends; if it works they’ll love you forever but if it works for a bit then burns out like flames than it’s going to be spilled milk that you can’t clean up. Then both people feel awkward to you and you are stuck being the person that recommended someone that was horrible to the other person. Icky feeling central.
Eventually you have to pull back and allow connections to happen organically because if someone is always asking for you to introduce them to Bob, Bill, Sally, or whomever, I have to ask you how many people you’ve asked them to introduce you to. If your answer is no one, than I believe I must be frank with you and say that you’re not in a mutually beneficial relationship and you need to cut that taker out of your life.
The best and hardest relationship advice I can give is this: There isn’t a relationship on earth that is designed for selfish people. Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them as a friend, co-worker, or partner. You have to figure out if a relationship is balanced.
Do they give you what you give them?
How does that make you feel?
Pretty horrible, right?
It sucks and learning that their motivations aren’t pure feels pretty horrific. It feels bad because you’re giving them all they want and on the opposite side of the spectrum, you’re not getting anything and you’re going to feel like a bad person saying that to them but you’re not bad, you’re actually doing the best thing for YOU. So while it hurts saying it, you’ll lose less energy if you can learn to recognize it and change your ways than not saying anything at all.
It doesn’t make you jaded to learn who these people are, if anything it makes you stronger and more giving to the person that means the most to you; which should be you.
You simply have to figure out who’s worth your kindness and who’s just taking advantage of you because there is no such thing as a free cup of coffee, meal, or walk in the park. If there is a person taking more than they give back to you than you have to be okay with it or you have to learn to guard your time and the people you’re sharing it with.
Your professional time is only as valuable as you make it.
Make it match the value you’ve put into it with your college degree, the sweat and tears you’ve experienced getting to this day, and make your networking reflect the place you’re going not the places you’ve already been. If you know everyone in the room you’re walking into with a professional intent, you’re in the wrong room. Take the nearest door and proceed. This of course doesn’t apply to friends. With friends you must know everyone in the room and they must know you. Shallow existence in a room full of kind-hearts isn’t something you should crave, the depth comes in less people and more love.
These are all life changes that you must learn to make for yourself. The only person blocking the door to a new existence or path is you. Make your own way, know your comfort level of giving, learn your comfort level of taking, introduce yourself, network your heart out, and never ask for more than you give to anyone. The balance of it all plays a fundamental part to your happiness and success.
Careful not to tip the scale.