It's fun nowadays with superficial relationships (like the ones we enjoy online) and the real ones because: how can we tell who that someone in cyberspace really is? It will still be about exchange, about value and about assessment. I guess it’s all up to interpretation. Why do people listen or care? Because you add something. Offering value in some way always helps.
How then do you make a distinction between having a relationship, bringing knowledge, products, support or whatever to the table, and not being taken advantage off? This is one to check out. I’ve seen it before and I’m sure you have too. Not that I’m advocating you should put roadblocks in any relationship and ‘measure’ the give and take ratio, but I do suggest to be ‘aware’. Marketers know this, hard sales people do too. Pounce. Ouch. Whack with handbag in retaliation? No. You should have seen it coming.
When we are being nice we will have a very high change of being trampled on. This is clear as day. It’s good to remember to be less naïve, but still loving. There’s a difference between genuinely giving without expecting anything in return and to give knowing we are stacking up brownie points to get somewhere. Also there’s the thing about whether we demand things from others or if we nicely ask for it. The good ol’ famous balancing act is what it boils down to and the respect we have. Some people use the guise of friendship to clean you out. Others simply try and smooth you over until they no longer need your valuable assets. We learn from experience.
To me it always comes back to the following:
- What goes around comes around: people attract what they send out. Be the “most optimal” you can be and it will reflect well on you.
- If you’re being yourself and know where you’re at including setting boundaries it should be quite good sailing. Be clear to others and they are more likely to be clear to you. Well they have to don’t they?
- Never exchange or do business with someone you don’t trust or don’t even like.
- Always give people the benefit of the doubt but take the pink sunnies off. Everyone makes mistakes.
- Keep smiling but show yourself, there’s no harm in that. If you don’t have anything to hide then there’s nothing to be afraid of.
- Whatever you do: make sure you do a regular system check: make it neither too neurotic nor too fluffy ducky. The funny thing is that you don’t even have to say something sometimes: just backing off might be all it takes.
- Trust your instincts always. Any time I talked myself out of it, it turned out to be a mistake.
- Last one: we forget to like ourselves sometimes if we’re too critical. Love yourself in whatever way you feel best.
Have a life. It's worth having.