Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

Used vs. Loved July 22, 2009

Filed under: Guest Post,relationships,Self Love — Sunny @ 9:00 pm

*Today’s post comes from Danielle at “It’s So Nice to Be Nice”. Enjoy!

I received a forwarded email recently and thought to share the last couple of lines.

“Anger and Love have no limits; choose the latter to have a beautiful, lovely life…..Things are to be used and people are to be loved. But, the problem in today’s world is that, people are used and things are loved. “

The last line struck a cord with me and made me think about some of my past relationships, but I couldn’t help but disagree with the statement. See, I’ve always believed that we were all created to grow, contribute, and flourish. For this reason, I have intentionally set out to form relationships with people for my own personal gain….in hopes of getting introduced to someone else, a new perspective, a new hobby, a recommendation letter, or an opportunity for a new job.

Honestly, I just believe in exchange. I believe that I’m always getting something from the people I invite in my life or who arrive through happenstance.

It could be positive or negative. Their energy might inspire, their words of wisdom may provide insight, their experience could eliminate missteps, and their relationships could provide opportunities for growth and advancement. In the same way, contact may spark anger, be a hindrance, stunt emotional growth, or lead to inappropriate behavior.

Either way, relationships lead to change, education, and opportunities….good or bad, substantial or limited, they always lead to something.

And since this is true, what’s wrong with looking to people for opportunities that will spark growth and renewal? What’s wrong with intentionally seeking out relationships that add fuel to our lives and careers.

This doesn’t mean I have my hand open, stretched out, only looking to receive. On the contrary, I have committed my life to helping others and giving because I believe in service and have found these experiences to be the most enriching and life-changing.

So I seek them out. I look for opportunities to help, inspire, and teach. And I never think of these people or organizations as using me or manipulating me because I offered help. I signed up, instructed, listened, and gave them permission to utilize my talents, assets, knowledge and/or expertise.

So, they’re not using me without my permission, knowledge, and participation. Instead, I’m actively making a choice to give to others and to receive something from those who have something to share with me.

What do you think of the last lines in the email? Do you intentionally use people?

“‘It’s So Nice to Be Nice’ was created to remind people of the importance of sharing, connecting, and treating others well, even in a tough economy, and even when you don’t feel inpired . A smile, an authentic hello, friendly wave, or sincere compliment can do much to brighten someone’s day. Yes, they’re small, but these are important gestures that may lighten the load or lift the spirit of many you meet.
 
On this blog, you can expect regular musings about a few missing links in the quest for success in our world: courtesy, politeness, honesty, respect, and helpfulness. In addition, I will also discuss my struggles for character development as well. ”

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16 Responses to “Used vs. Loved”

  1. Anitra Says:

    A friend taught me a few years ago that i should always ask the question “what can this person do for me” its not always monitary (actually its never) but i do agree that people should enhance life in some way. We all should consider being of assistance because it inspires growth. I look at all the people i have purposefully saught out and how positive live has been. I actually side eye those who dont want to see me do better be it spiritual growth, financial growth, educational growth ect….

    If u arent in my life to serve me, then maybe im here to serve you. Either way i always go with it because we just never know what we could learn from either situation.

  2. I have relationships were I am used and where it’s mutual. By used, I mean it’s very one sided..but I don’t mind (although it gets exhausting sometimes).

    By allowing myself to be used, I feel like I’m helping, and it’s not killing me, so why not? Matter of fact, it is the majority of my relationships- only because I let very few people in enough that I can benefit from.

    Additionally, there should be a limit to how much you can take- every person is responsible for knowing what that is.

  3. Bamer15 Says:

    Great post Nicki! I loved this blog and it was a great read.

    I agree with everything you wrote about, the only thing I would change is that I wouldn’t call our relationships either ‘taking or giving’ but rather ‘sharing’.

    As long as you share in a relationship, regardless if thats giving more than recieving or vice versa, it works quite well and both parties are extremely happy.

    So a bit more ‘sharing’ in this would would be a great thing..

  4. “So a bit more ’sharing’ in this would would be a great thing..”

    I agree.. thanks Bamer, on behalf of Danielle, who wrote this blog. All I did was post it. lol

  5. J Money Says:

    I agree that compliments can brighten someone’s day…that is very true! 🙂

  6. Danielle Says:

    Good point Bamer15….I would have to say that I like the term ‘sharing’ over ‘taking or giving’ as well. Thanks for the correction.

  7. J Money Says:

    My thing is give if you want to give (ie time, money, love) that is fine. But the thing you can’t do is complain after you have decided to give. Because the question becomes why did you choose to do that, if you were not ready for the outcome. And sometimes we have an idea how things are going to turn out before we even enter the situation. So I think you have to be prepared for what you receive and not complain when it doesn’t go according to your plan. Just continue to help and move on from. Maybe the next time a little more thought will be put into who, when, and why before you put yourself out there again.

  8. “And sometimes we have an idea how things are going to turn out before we even enter the situation. So I think you have to be prepared for what you receive and not complain when it doesn’t go according to your plan”

    @J: And sometimes you go in with the greatest intention and it just becomes too much.

  9. J Money Says:

    “And sometimes you go in with the greatest intention and it just becomes too much”

    True…but normally there are signs we choose to ignore that say this person, this situation, or etc will be too much

  10. thecomebackgirl Says:

    “So, they’re not using me without my permission, knowledge, and participation. Instead, I’m actively making a choice to give to others and to receive something from those who have something to share with me.”

    This is how I feel.

    Good post. Sadly I believe that people who are sensitive to “using people” in building relationships don’t get very far in any of them, why?? I’ve said this before..its about the natural elements of quid quo pro. I live by that. I’m constantly trying to help others (particularly how to fish). Just because its the right thing to do. On top of which the good part is that ALL good things are returned. ALWAYS. Its the order of the universe. So I’d like to consider myself putting out positive helpful vibes and not the opposite.

  11. Bamer15 Says:

    @ Danielle: No problem.

    I read your blog as well and I was wondering if it’s ok if I add it to my blog list on my site?

    I really liked your thoughts. 🙂

  12. “True…but normally there are signs we choose to ignore that say this person, this situation, or etc will be too much”

    And sometimes you’ve found a friend who no matter how dumb you think they are, they have a piece of your heart.. so you just want to help. I know I have one!

    One of my girls really considers me her friend.. and I feel bad for her. Her mother died when she was a kid.. her sister treats her with contempt… so I just want to be there.

    And I’m probably wrong bc I “vent” to another about what I’m feeling about what she does… so maybe I should just stay silent!

  13. Danielle Says:

    @J Money and Nicki Sunshine, I agree with you both. I ‘ve found myself in situations where I felt as if I was being taken advantage of after helping.Offering a listening ear, money, time, etc. You know I thought, well, I have these strengths and she has hers so we’ll learn from each other. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. or maybe it happens at a slower pace than I would have hoped. At times when I feel like this, I make it a point to step back and take care of myself, especially if I want to maintain the relationship. Sometimes that just means spending less time or even saying ‘no.’ It can be hard to do, but sometimes it’s necessary for my own sanity.

    @Bamer15. Thanks for the compliment and for checking the site out. You are certainly welcome to add me to your blogroll. I’ll be checking you out soon as well.

  14. “Sometimes that just means spending less time or even saying ‘no.’ It can be hard to do, but sometimes it’s necessary for my own sanity.”

    I agree. Every phone call does NOT have to be answered! 😉

  15. thecomebackgirl Says:

    “I agree with you both. I ‘ve found myself in situations where I felt as if I was being taken advantage of after helping.”

    I think intent follows every bullet. Some people don’t HELP for the best reasons. Sometimes the law of attraction (read: ALL TIMES) is in effect.

    Those of us who play or have played the martyr…will get played…its our expectation its how we see ourselves and thus the world takes us up on it.

  16. Danielle Says:

    @Thecomebackgirl…..you’re absolutely right! I’ve stopped being an enabler. And it’s tough, especially when the one’s you love don’t understand your intentions.


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