Recently, a Ghanaian TV presenter revealed that her relationship had ended, and in a series of emotional outbursts, you know – tweets, she said and I paraphrase,
You made my entire family fall in love with you and you walked away…
I was everything, did everything right, submissive Yada Yada Yada…
I don’t understand why you will come into my life and make promises you can’t keep….
Apparently, the ex boyfriend in question had proposed, they were on the verge of getting married and everything, when he just bailed.
This reminds me of something someone said to me recently,
You see, your problem is that you expect too much, the world is not built not like that; you keep doing you, it’s not up to you if they appreciate it or not…
While this may be coming from a place of love, I still had questions : Why can’t I stop doing?
I was not even going to pen this down, at all, because it would be hard to write on entitlement without it coming off as a shade or getting people’s feelings hurt, no matter how nicely it’s written. This is just a topic I like to avoid and just let be the elephant in the room.
However, in the middle of the night, someone I know posted a whatsapp update, a rant maybe and what got me was, first, he doesn’t usually rant, unless maybe about politics, but this time, he went on about how people can take and take from you and when you need, viola, nobody. It left me with a question : Why can’t you stop doing?
1:46am and I was in my drafts, because really, people, we should talk!
It’s a popular school of thought in my country that parents shouldn’t expect their children to take care of them in old age and similarly, when you help a family member up or friend perhaps, not to expect anything in return.
Honestly, I used to subscribe to this school of thought until life happened and lessons…
First ofs, expectations are ingrained, it’s in the constitution, man, we can’t expunge it. Forget this bs about when you’re doing something, don’t expect anything in return. Take it from me, that’s Bs.
To be clear, I do not say, go out there with the intent to lord it over people that you’re like their savior or something, or give people something because you’re coming back to collect from them in triple fold. Please, you’re not the devil.
My point is, we’re all human beings and when we do something for someone and get a thank you, there’s a part of the brain that sort of let’s you know, Yo, now I got your back, I’m sure you’ll have mine, I Mean that’s what friends are for, right?
I guess maybe this idea of having someone’s back, back has been misused from when family members latch unto the successful one and expect them to take on the family burden because they bought his bus ticket to Lagos, or when parents place unrealistic demands on kids, forgetting these kids are grown adults with kids to take care of.
So, people say instead, do it and go away, don’t expect anything back. But, why ya got to do it in the first place?
That’s the big question, and I daresay this mentality increases the population of users and selfish people in the world, where its okay to take, take, take and never give in return, because you see, don’t expect anything, expectations hurt.
I have a cousin who only calls when he needs something. Like, once I see his name pop up on my phone, I know something’s up. You know how Victor AD sang,
phone dey ring, na family dey call o,
if no be billing, na something dey sup o
It was a pattern, call – ask – vanish. I only hear from him again when he needs something. It’s even funny how he never asks if I have, it’s just gimme gimme, and I oblige, because as the older one, you have to. This constitution Sha..
With time, I began to observe the pattern and most times his needs weren’t pressing, it was often for flimsy things and it didn’t take time for me to start feeling like a Mugu and I had to learn to put a foot down and say no. As God would have it, the next time he called, I kuku didn’t have shi shi, so I didn’t feel guilty saying no. Well, I didn’t hear from him again, till the next time… Of course.
The next time, he called and I said no again (if you say it twice, you’ll get used to it, take it from someone who’s had a hard time saying it). This time, he wasn’t as understanding, and was becoming so whiny and last born-y on the phone, me that I kuku do not have time for all the shenanigans. What I did not understand was that he had a gig he was running, whatever it was, but it was bringing him money, still he needed more? I was confused and I told him, since you started this your job, have I seen 5naira from you? No, but when you need something, you know who to call. He was all, Nooo, I have plans for you, don’t worry…
Insert rolling eye emoji here because I can’t. My can’t, can’t even not.
If you’re going to say here that I was feeling entitled to his earnings and the fact that I bailed him out often doesn’t mean he had to remember me when he got something, you’re probably right!
Where I’m from, there’s something the elders say, e kele dike na nke o mere, o me kwa ozo.
If you thank the elder for the one he has done, he will do again.
Let’s just paraphrase that to mean, scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
I didn’t have a problem helping my cousin out or anything, neither did I have a roster for the number of times it had happened, I don’t even remember. My problem is, why is it okay, to take and take take and take from someone and in the event they complain (because they are human and did not come to the world to do monkey dey work for you), you label them a monster and say that they give only because they expect something in return.
It actually bothers me that the world has come to be like this. I tell people, if I give 💯, believe me, I expect nothing less in return.
Recently, I was talking to a friend and he was being unnecessary silly and shady, so in the spirit of the atmosphere, I replied all his very not nice words with caustic words of my own. He was taken aback and said I was hurting him. I laughed! I sat him down and explained to him, that I was but a mirror – you know how they say, whatever you give a woman is what she gives back to you. I’ve noticed sometimes people do things just to gauge your reaction. I used to know someone that purposely did things I detested because according to him, it was cute when I got mad. (WHAT THE ACTUAL….??) That was the coldest, most manipulate thing someone had said to me, and he still doesn’t understand why I had to cut him off, but it is what it is.
Baba, if you come at me with weird energy, I will give you same, I’m not for the be a bigger person Yada Yada, because really, people have forgotten that actions have consequences. I will remind them, I have time.
I have a friend that unconsciously blurts out the first thing in her mind which often times is an insult but she covers it up as a joke. She doesn’t do it on purpose, it just comes out, I mean, we all have bad mouth, right? I often point it out to her that some things are better left unsaid as words spoken can never be taken back and while some people may accept it as a joke, others might be offended, because her “jokes” revolve around like people’s features, stuff they can’t change, height, shape and all that. Once, she started with my weight, man, I’m rail thin, I gave her a nickname of her own too. So, while she calls me 7up, I call her bread. We laugh over it and move on, because honestly we don’t take it seriously. However, I understand that it’s not okay to be so blunt and what not with people you’re not close to and it might offend or hurt them even if they try to laugh over it. Actions have consequences, that’s that.
Back to my cousin. The last time I heard from him (but of course) and I didn’t have any cash to give him, he told me to ask my boyfriends, so I could get cash to send to him. Uh, first of all, he did not get the memo that the boys I like do not even like me back, so boyfriends, in plural would be reaching!!!!!! Secondly, AND ALLOW ME TO WRITE IN ITALICS, IT IS NOT OKAY FOR YOU TO TELL ME TO ASK A MAN FOR THINGS AND GO ROUND TO COMPLAIN THAT GIRLS ARE GOLD DIGGERS WHEN IT IS DONE TO YOU. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND, MY BROTHER. Also, as misinterpreted as this might be, I’m a strong black woman that doesn’t have to live off a man, and I’ll be darned if I have to beg a man for money to give to someone else. Like, not even myself? The nerve!
Sha, the Koko is that, society might not bat an eye at this take take take mentality, but the one time you complain, they begin to question your reasons for giving in the first place.
I was reading something on ‘Psychology today’ and I realized that I had the classic symptoms of a people pleaser and If you think that is a compliment, you are wrong. A pleaser, AKA knight in shining armor lives for the times people are in need, you more or less feel helpless when there’s nothing you can do and you often go out of your way, to help. It’s cute but unhealthy, as it feeds an inadequacy and desire to be wanted or needed. So, If you still think it’s a compliment, you’re reading this wrong.
Relationships work by being symbiotic and not parasitic. People should meet themselves half way and that’s why I say, whatever percent you bring to the table is what they should be bring too, because you see, if you bring more than you should, you will get hurt and the truth of the matter is, when they turn around to tell you that they never asked, they will be right.
If you’re a people pleaser and you’re reading this, learn to say no when it’s inconvenient for you. The other person might not understand the lengths you went to make them happy, so they might not understand why you’re so upset when they can’t come through for you as you expect, I hope this makes sense somewhat.
Look at it like the popular advice they give to lenders, always lend money you can let go. When you give more than that, you can become cranky when they don’t pay, and it can ruin relationships, so always do the minimal, for you mental health.
Also, to put this out there. It’s not okay to be dependent, don’t always take take take from people because you know they will offer or they will give. See, some people can’t say no, and can’t help offering to help, to them its how they feel relevant or useful, by being needed, by being fixers, it’s not a praiseworthy trait, so you should help them by not being a user. Always meet people halfway, so they can meet you again. It’s simple. Scratch my back, I scratch yours.
I feel sorry for the actress whose relationship ended and what I tell relationship people, please do only the things you won’t regret doing, I use God tey beg una, there’s no award for the best wife material. Women are scum but e get man wey like scum o, so easy does it…..
I was at my ex’s a long time ago, he had just returned from a trip and was cleaning his house, he begged me to come keep him company. I got to the house and he was dropping hints, like you’re just watching me do all the world alone… See, before they quote me wrong, I’m not against helping out here and there. If you can, by all means, chant the Nike mantra and just do it. The thing is, I just didn’t want to do his house chores, it was as simple as that. That would have been giving too much from me, considering we were not even dating, and even while we dated, he was self sufficient and did everything himself. Now, we were just cordial exes, I wasn’t about to do the sweeping, cleaning thing and I couldn’t say for sure that when I see him in the evening with a girl or something, I wouldn’t feel used.
So there’s that, if it’ll cost you too much, why do you have to do it? There’s no reward for who can do the most, so if you can’t do it, why do you have to displease yourself to prove a point? Someone told me, na the hand wey you give person na im dem go use follow you… Please don’t start what you can’t finish.
Above all, remember that you’re the most important person in every relationship. Please, always think of yourself first.