From a very early age I was the guy you went to to get things done. I had all the essential ingredients necessary to make me the go to guy. I was 100% reliable, and rarely if ever said no.. If I said I would be there at a given time bar my own death I would be there. I was also very fit and very strong. This meant I was the first port of call for friends moving, any manual jobs, lifting things, removing things, concreting drives, carrying heavy objects, any destruction of say walls, buildings and of course anything that needed a sledge hammer.
I was also very trustworthy so could be left alone in the house without fear that I would be stealing things or generally taking the piss. Oh and did I mention that I was free. Yep, you could get me to do pretty much anything for free. The only cost might be a few cups of tea, perhaps a sandwich or a burger from a take away place.
This has led me to being used and abused all my life. People contacting me for help, assistance and then once I had helped them, would do a Lord Lucan on me. One of the worst things was when a friend of mine’s brother asked me to help him move an enormous marble table from his lounge to the garage. I had known my friend for many years, infact he was as I thought one of my best mates. His brother a tad younger used to come out with us.
His brother asked me to move this table. I asked why we would be moving it, he told me he was having a party. In fact he had invited all his friends to that party and although I knew him well had not invited me but wanted me to help him move his table. Unbelievable… That pretty much has been the only time in 46 years that I have turned somebody down.
I started to think why people have treated me like that. Why have so many taken the piss out of me, abused my kind and good nature to get what they needed and then disappear? The answer lies firmly at my own door. As I allowed them to. So why was I allowing this? What was wrong with me that made it almost impossible for me to say no?
I believe all this goes back to my childhood and my upbringing. I got very little love and support from my parents. I will save for another blog post why that was but from a very early age I felt I was on my own. I have therefore always enjoyed my own company and done my own thing. I did not like to upset people, I wanted people to like me and so I became the person that helped everyone else out even to my own detriment.
But has it helped? Has it produced hundreds of close friends that like me… err no… It just produces loads of people that will use you for their needs and then they bugger off. It does not make you close friends, it only makes you seemingly popular whilst you are doing the helping bit. Once done, they are history. They are not your friends and never will be. They are only interested in you for your skills and abilities…certainly not for you.
I have always struggled to say no. But I am improving on it. I no longer have any time for people that just show up when they need something and then disappear just as quick shortly afterwards. I have removed hundreds of mobile phone numbers, Skype numbers and email addresses from so called friends.. They are not friends.. never have and never will be.
People take because we give.. stop giving and people wont be able to take. Instead help out those that are not takers. That do show up to call you, chat to you, support you, help you because they genuinely care for you. Not because they want something or are trying to sell you something.
Saying No is hard. Saying no when you are one of life’s pleaser’s is even harder but it has to be done. I have found a new way to channel my need to be liked. I give without the need for any reciprocation. I give often anonymously to people often at random who I have come across or who I feel I want to help. But I am not doing it for them. I am doing it for myself. It make me feel better. That is why I am doing it. I don’t tell people, I don’t make announcements, I just quietly make a donation, buy someone lunch, do something that make someone go wow and is often totally unexpected.
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