A friend of mine told me there’s two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. I, personally, am very bad at spotting the takers. My expectations of people are high, because I demand high expectations of myself. I expect others to put forth the same effort I do, in everything. On top of this I am also hypersensitive, which is both good and bad. I’m very aware, but also can take things personally that are not meant to be personal towards me. I want to be respected, as a coach, as a mom, and as a woman. When I feel I’m being disrespected or taken advantage of it’s personally hurtful to me. Key word here is “feel” and that is on me, because it does not ensure intent.
What I have learned though, over the last several years, is that lowering my expectations or limiting my generosity is not the answer. People are ever changing, and trying to spot a taker or prevent a “crime” is exhausting and can really shade your perspective of all people. No, I have learned the best way to be is to be myself, unguarded. The answer is changing my perspective and giving others the benefit of the doubt. In doing so, I give my best and can do my best, not because I expect a matched return or a specific imagined outcome, but because it is what I am supposed to do. It is the right thing to do. My actions and reactions are a measure of me. Others actions and reactions are a measure of them.
Don’t stop offering what you have because you fear missing the reward or getting hurt. I am definitely not saying to ignore the red flags people wave. Learning to see them comes mostly from experience and getting hurt. Mistakes are repeated until we learn so we don’t get hurt again. In time those who respect you will appreciate what you are providing because it comes from a place of genuine love and honest experience. They will be drawn to you because what you have and what you are is real. Freely being yourself and sharing your gifts and talents is a reward in itself that no one can take from you. Don’t let a few bad apples keep you from sharing and harvesting the fruits of your labor. Be fearless. The world will always have takers. Give anyway.