If you allow people to make more withdrawls than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative before you know it. ~ Christie Williams
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you feel that someone or a multitude of someones is/are sucking the life right out of you, you will definitely relate to the concept of a negative balance. We are taught that kindness and giving are precepts for a good character, which, of course, they are. We can never be too kind or too giving, can we? Well, I suppose the answer is both yes and no. It all depends on how much we expect reciprocation for our good deeds, if at all.
I don’t think anyone could argue that limitless giving can lead to negative personal consequences when we give to be charitable. For example, someone who volunteers at a soup kitchen or a battered women’s shelter may gift countless hours of their time without expecting anything in return. They do it in order to help other human beings who are in a position where they cannot help themselves. The reward in giving of themselves is in the knowledge that they have helped their fellow man and woman. No reciprocation is expected. However, does this dynamic work in our personal relationships?
When we give our time, attention, kindness, love, and much more to someone in our lives that we love or even care about, we generally do so with the expectation that the other person will at least appreciate our efforts. Some even expect more than just a feeling of appreciation. Depending on what our expectations are, we will find ourselves feeling unappreciated, used, and disrespected if our actions are not reciprocal. For example, in a love relationship, we can end up feeling empty if we constantly give of ourselves to our partner and in return, our partner either doesn’t appreciate us, seems to not care, or even behaves in a way that harms us physically, mentally, or emotionally. In cases where we give and give but get nothing but heartache and disappointment in return, we have allowed someone to make withdrawls from our lives without making sufficient deposits. Our balance then becomes not zero, but negative.
Relationships of all kinds require give and take so that both parties feel appreciated and respected. A balance is ideal in whatever we do in life. When we find ourselves incurring a negative balance, it can leave us tired, depressed, tainted, and even despondent. That is why it is our own responsibility to ensure that we evaluate our relationships truthfully so that we are not left asking ourselves, “How did I get here?”. ~Gia