The Chance to Give

After reading the comments on yesterday’s post, two things came up for me. One was about being an advocate for yourself which I will save for another post. But the second one was about giving others the chance to do things for you.

There were a few comments about not asking because you didn’t think you deserved it or being worried to bother others. (I don’t want to put words in your mouth so just know that this is me rephrasing and not any particular person’s comment.) This made me think of how frustrating it is to have a friend/spouse/family member who won’t ask. Because here’s the thing: I really love being able to do things for people. Given the chance, I’d much rather do something I know they will love instead of doing something I might think they will like.

When someone cares about you, they love to see you happy. I think we all have this. It’s the joy that comes from giving presents to people and seeing their face light up. If I knew for a fact that I could do something that would make my husband, my son, my friend smile each time, I would make a huge effort to try to do that often.

There’s so much joy in being able to do something for someone you love.

And when you don’t ask, I think you’re denying that person the pleasure of being able to make you happy. This is one of the best things about little kids. They are quite vocal about what they like and they squeal with joy when they get it. And seeing them happy makes us happy too. It’s a huge boost.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What if you lived with someone and they wanted something but never asked you. Wouldn’t it be frustrating to know that there’s potentially something you can do to make them happier but you will never know because they are not asking?

In my personal relationships I find this terribly frustrating. As long as it’s asking and taking what you get (and not throwing a fit if you don’t get it) I feel like asking is giving the other person the opportunity to do something that will bring joy into your life. And if this person cares about you, they will try their best to do it. Won’t they?

And if they don’t care about you….well maybe it’s time to reconsider that relationship.

But, again, if you don’t ask, you won’t know. And if you don’t ask, you can’t expect them to read your mind. It’s not fair. By not asking, not only are you unhappy but you’re also denying them the chance to do something for you. If I found out that someone close to me was doing that, I’d be so sad. I’d feel terrible that they are not giving me the benefit of the doubt. They’re assuming I wouldn’t care.

But I do.

And I bet the people in your life do, too. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. And, even worse, you’ll be denying them the chance to get to do something for you. To give you. To show you their love.

And that’s a shame.

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