Why people let us down

How many times have you relied on someone for help or a favor, only to be left in the lurch?

Granted, there are some people out there who are truly dependable; maybe it's a parent, a sibling you grew up with, or a best friend.

But let's face it -- such people are in the minority.

The fact of the matter is that most people are only out for themselves. Even when it comes to doing a favor for someone, they're cognizant of what they can get out of the relationship. Very rarely do people act for purely unselfish reasons.

You might be thinking that this is a very cynical outlook on life, but it's the truth. Even my closest friends have let me down on several occasions by taking a course of action that was more beneficial to them -- at my expense.

The saying, "You can't get everything you want in life" is especially valid when you're dealing with people. At the end of the day, self-gain is the driving force behind most people's decisions. If giving you a ride, lending you money, or helping you move to your new house is too much of an inconvenience, people will find an excuse not to lend you a hand.

Everyone is selfish -- albeit in varying degrees. To say otherwise is to deny the basic essence of human nature. People put themselves first.

I don't dispense my trust equally to everyone. For example, I have co-workers who will take every opportunity to step on someone if it means their coming out ahead.

I used to give away my trust easily until several people in my life took advantage of it.

I used to bend over backwards for anyone until I realized they began to take advantage of my gentle, giving nature.

Now, I'm far more judicious and discriminating when it comes to social relationships. There are people I know who seem to prioritize quantity -- having as many friends as possible -- over quality, but I'm the exact opposite. If I have a choice between a circle of four or five people in my life who I can really count on versus 100 fickle individuals whose loyalty comes into question every so often, I'll gladly choose the former.

While social relationships are essential to our well-being, we shouldn't become overly reliant on any one relationship. There's a lot to be said for self-reliance, for at the end of the day, you're the only person you can always depend on.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I soooo totally agree with what you have said. I have become quite a bit more cynical about people as the years have passed.