Wearing Out The Open Invitation

 This title deserves an explanation right up front for sure. I will keep it very simple so as not to confuse anyone. We all have friends in our lives that we would do anything for if they need us. I love the expression that your best friends will always either help you move, come and get you from the airport, or come and either get you out of jail or visit you frequently if you have to stay there for an extended time. You can connect each one of those scenarios to similar life situations that carry the same depth and ask yourself who you would go to those lengths for at the drop of a hat.

   So I listened today as a friend expressed major frustration about a person who seemed to develop a certain entitlement with things being done for them. Now listen, we do everything that we do for others for the basic reason that we want to. However, there is another side to this too. I believe that the other mentality is that people do things to stockpile favors so that they can expect reciprocation after a certain amount of time elapses. To this I say, "No bueno." Now how do you navigate this as it relates to another person? Well in short, you  don't. We will only ever have control over ourselves. This can be frustrating because from time to time, we will all run into a frequent favor redeemer friend. This is the person who will rattle off the last 7 things that they have done for you when you dare to muster up an emphatic "No", when asked to do a seemingly simple favor.

   So is there a limit to how many favors you can ask one human being to do for you in a calendar year? I would say no if the relationship is strong. My closest friends have Carte Blanche in this area because they have earned it with their authenticity and consistency. My good friends have never just went silent in an instant, or not returned calls over months, or even just refuse to resolve an issue. I digress, but you can see where I am going with this. If you have to reach out to someone, you always know who will do what they can for you. Yet and still, when someone mistakes your kindness for weakness and attempts to take full advantage of you, its probably time to cut the cord. This is coming from someone who is just coming into full focus with this lesson.

    The bottom line is that we can all become enablers quicker than we realize that we are becoming one. If you feel as thought you are being walked on, you usually are on some level. Now the question is, do you continue your stint as a doormat or do you side step the feet that are being impressed upon you? I think that answer is quite obvious, yet also a bit difficult at times. From my experience, those who need so much from others in the way of favors or assistance, usually were not looked after enough when they were younger by the primary people that could have shown them to be stronger and to love themselves harder. I do not judge them as much as I feel for them each and every day. After all, how many people would still work hard to get what they want if things were just given to them or done for them?

    In closing, I love doing things for my friends. I must have seen thousands of people being give n things and being taken care of when I was in my formative years. I just assumed that this was how life worked and that everyone did that. However, as I matured I realized that we have to train our minds to navigate who deserves our favor and who completely does not. It does begin from the training that we have received though. I really believe this with all of my soul. It can be reset, relearned, overridden , and maybe even completely looked at differently, but that is certainly not the norm in my experience. So give as much as you can, but take in smaller doses. In other words, be responsible for your part of the journey and make a point not to abuse the privileges from others. We all need our power to survive. Carrying the weight of others is tough work when done consistently. There is a difference between leaning on a friend and just blatantly climbing up on their shoulders and just staying there. You feel me? I know you do. I am only an email away. If I can be here for you in any way, I surely will be. Thank you for your presence.

                                                                                               Chase
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