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Psychology, Relationships, Society, Women's Issues

The Art of Giving

Ever had a selfish friend?

Picture the scene. A mixed group of about twenty friends (I should state many did not know each other) go out for a Birthday meal. At least half of the women leave early due to some other party invite to run off too, each leaving only a very small percentage of what they should for their meal and drinks they had ordered. The Birthday girls boyfriend and his friends are left to pay the large bill. Cue steam rising from various heads and lips tightly pressed.

This may seem a bit far-fetched and absurd but it is does happen and it did happen to me!

Which makes me ponder are some people better at giving than other’s? Are some people inherently selfish? Or are some people just miserable tight wads with their money?

Remember the old saying – You can only give what you have. Well, what if you have the ability to give but you choose not to?

It would seem that some people don’t seem to have much to give out. It would seem that for some it is all about getting. There is a deep void that needs filled up constantly and replaced very quickly. To give would leave the person emotionally thirsty and dehydrated.

I believe that if you are 100% full of love – if your self-esteem is relatively healthy and you are feeling good then you are more willing and certainly more able to release your reserves to other’s. You may even feel so good you are not expecting anything in return. This is an ideal emotional state to be in. You can give, give, give. It doesn’t matter to you, you have enough love in your life that you know you are able to recoup any emotional losses.

Sadly I find that some people do expect the exchange of favours, and people can get quite angry if their ‘good deed’ is not returned. Some people seem quite hungry for their favours to be returned. Some people are only interested in helping if they can benefit. There is a distinct scent lingering that whispers, ‘but what’s in this for me?’

I have of course forgiven the young women who quickly dashed off and left my boyfriend and his mates to pay up. As an older person I can understand that young people can be selfish and thoughtless. A free meal was perhaps too big a temptation for a student! I joked that they were simply malnourished as opposed to free loading and grabbing at what they could. But sadly I think they were just out for a free ride!

Surely everyone has experienced the friend who darts to the toilet whenever it is his ’round’ in the pub? This friend is not someone who is in financial hell, he just refuses to pay his way.

Or what about the friend who won’t even buy you a drink on your Birthday? Or she refuses to lend you anything because giving would just be too big loss for her? Or the friends who calculate who had the salad and who had the chicken at lunch – they refuse to pay a penny over. They rush to the waitress asking to pay for their own meal separately! Come on vent people. I know it’s happened to you!

Have you experienced friends who take, take, take and have no guilt or awareness? Have you had a friend who refuses to give unless she benefits?


About Alana Munro

Writer. Mama to three, wife to one. Red wine consumer.


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