Further Secrets of Adulthood:
I keep meaning to write an Assay post about this...it's a deep issue. Do you find this to be true? That sometimes, when people give too much, or go too far out of their way to be helpful or thoughtful, it's burdensome?
In part, this is because of the extremely strong psychological phenomenon of reciprocation: when someone gives you something or does something for you, you feel you should reciprocate. Reciprocation is why members of the Hare Krishna Society gave flowers to passers-by in airports,and why charities send complimentary address labels when they ask for money.
So sometimes, when someone is giving, we perceive it as an attempt to manipulate us. By giving to us, they make us feel that we must give to them -- and maybe we don't want to.
I touch on this issue in chapter 9 of Happier at Home, if you want more discussion.
If you’re reading this post through the daily email, click here to join the conversation. And if you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up here. (You can ignore that RSS business.)
One Last Thing
Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?
Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. I share ideas for being happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.
Dive into The Blog
More Posts For You
Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.
The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.