There will be people who you encounter in life that take and take and don’t ever give back. They play on your morals, on your sympathies, and on your empathy to get what they want before taking it and leaving again, only to return the next time they want something you can give them.
It took me a long time to understand the importance of saying no. I don’t like telling people no. I always do my best to help them, even when my energies and resources are depleted.
But I used to worry that if I said no, that person would think I didn’t care enough.
Bullshit. Just because someone tells you no, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. Maybe they’re exhausted–physically and emotionally. Maybe they need to recharge, or maybe they had a prior engagement.
And the thing is, if you are constantly asking people for help or favors and doing nothing for them in return, well. Let’s just say that energy levels (and patience levels, for that matter) drain a hell of a lot faster.
Think about all those times you leaned on someone when you needed them. If they weren’t there for you, what would you have done? Think about the times that you were there for someone else. Did you make a difference in their day, their week even? If you were to write out a list of all the ways you’ve helped the people in your life, and a list of all the ways the people in your life have helped you…which list would be longer? Would they be of equal length, or would you be more of a taker than a giver?