One of the realities of life that you may not want to confront but you must is sometimes you have to give people exactly what they want. Along the same lines, you must sometimes ask people for exactly what you want. From time to time, it’s vital to show people that you will stop doing things for them when they are unwilling to do things for you. People will want you to go all out the way for them, but when you ask them to do something for you, there are always excuses and artificial justifications for why they cannot do exactly what you ask of them.
Let people know that you will withhold your giving to them when they are never willing to do exactly what you ask of them. Don’t be afraid to ask people for exactly what you want. Stop sugarcoating your requests—just ask for what you want, how you want it, and when you want it!
People need to know that you are made of something. Stop just letting them get all of you for free. If you truly believe that you are valuable, then, from time to time, start getting something in exchange for the things you do for people. In no way am I suggesting that you should ask people for something in return for everything you do for them. What I am saying, however, is to occasionally request people to do something for you in return for what you do for them. Please know that you are not being selfish when you occasionally request for people to do something in return for what you do for them.
You have to learn to be fairer to yourself.
If people try to give you a significant amount of resistance to your requests for them to do something in return for what you do for them, then simply don’t do what they want you to do for them. Sometimes people learn the most from tough love. Tough love can cause people to do the critical self-examinations they so desperately need to do.
The bible informs us that people are worthy of their service. Therefore, think about this each time you ask someone to do something for you.
Of course, we need more people across the world to become more selfless. This does not mean that we need more people across the world to be more foolish in their giving, however. When people love and respect you enough, they will know (without being told) that they need to honor your requests for them to do something in return for what they request you to do.
Sometimes you have to let people suffer before they will realize that they need to treat you better. As the bible evinces, suffering brings about correction. We are surrounded by so many people who need correction. Far too many people are too consumed with what they want and need that they never consider the desires and needs of other people. Don’t love yourself so much that you cannot use your eyes and heart to discern what you can do to meet the longings and needs of others.
Stop being free! Put a price tag on yourself sometimes.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison