The Cap On Obligations.
Welcome back to my mind and all the madness therein😁.
I've been thinking about something last week and I think it might be good to open this up for feedback/ conversation/ opinions exchange.
*Please note that is blog post is more the think aloud kinds. I have not reached any conclusive opinion and this is just my perspective. Which I know is not fully researched.
Therefore I'm writing this with the hope that you will write in your perspectives and opinions and stories and it would be interesting to be able to blog again sometime later with all our combined opinions.*
Back to the theme.
How long is long enough to feel obligated to someone for doing something for you? Not immediate family. Not touching that unless I have a doctorate worth of research and convos under my belt😅.
Verrrry subjective no?
Ok so the factors as I see them are as follows:
How much did they invest? It could be financial/emotional/ physical.
What point of your life did they step in? Some seasons or years or situations are harder than others. So that could be a deciding factor. The more vulnerable you were, the more intense the help feels.
Is this an ongoing situation where you're still receiving.
If this isn't new or recent, how involved are they still in your life?
My opinions on the above are quite varied.
I'll go over them point by point respectively.
Some big money donors / sponsors support some people's dreams for years and not small amounts.
Maybe there is a some spoken or unspoken deal for a barter. If any of you know first hand what this looks like, please let me know. I'd like to know how that works.
Or at the very least some respect and love.
If someone sponsors half your stint at university, I think they deserve a Christmas card with some heartfelt gratitude.
If a bunch of people bought the cookies you baked to raise money, you don't owe them all, but they can expect to not be brushed off and smirked at when you've made it. You can stay friendly.
2. I have a friend who was raised by neighbors because her parents died when she was a toddler.
They gave her a roof, an education, food and love. I think this deserves the love she would reserve for parents right?
Another person was welcomed into this family's home to stay for his entire course of over 3 months or so. Of course I don't think he would financially have been able to attend if not for the free lodging. But that was about 10 years ago. He's still always welcome to walk into their home when he wants. But what's the expectation in return here? Friendship and love? Yes! A 100 %
But what else should it be? Tell me what you think.
How long do you think he owes them for and in what kind, for the 10 year old debt.
3. This is a no brainer right? If it's an on going situation where you are constantly receiving, there needs to be rules and above board conversations about what is in play here.
Then it's the whole corporate expectation vs personal expectations.
A note of caution: if this is not something you have discussed, whether you're the giver or the recipient, please look for red flags and abuse of your generosity or your situation.
4. This kinda ties in with point 2 maybe. If they're still very involved and present and a part of your lives then the relationship could look a lil different.
But it also means that you have to know very clearly where to draw the line.
Checkpoint: Being present and involved in your life does not mean the people who get invited to your thanksgiving dinner.
If neither of you know what the other's work is like or if you cannot tell what their stand is on matters that are important to you, you're secondary friends.
If someone has to ask if you're in Hyderabad or Bangkok right now, they're not keeping in touch either. That's a benchmark. The close ones always know.
I think my sister said it well. I mean I did think it was a bit hardlined but it was in regards to outer circle and it's probably good for your mental and financial health: When you're able to pay them back, do it. With interest. And then move on. It's not a life long chain.
In addition to that, I think you always owe someone some respect and love. Whole-heartedly.
Tell me your opinion and why you feel that way!
Cover Pic: Pinterest.