Giving and Not Receiving. What to do?

How many times have you given out a gift (cash, a wristwatch, a book, or your time) to a friend and they never gave you anything back?

Maybe you even gave them an expensive gift on their birthday with the hope that they would definitely give you a gift on your birthday but lo and behold, they didn’t. And sadly, they even forgot to wish you a happy birthday!

It can be so painful! Trust me, I know.

There was this day that I was sick and very hungry…I was so weak that I could barely walk and so broke that I had to choose to buy drugs instead of food.

What inspired me to make such silly choice, you ask? Well, it’s because my room is quite close to that of a dear friend of mine, and with all my heart I believed I would get food from her.

I summoned all the strength left in me, stood up from my bed, bought the drugs I needed, and with enthusiasm and unflinching confidence, I approached this friend of mine for food.

Unfortunately for me, she said: “No. I can’t give you. I am also trying to manage the little I have. Sorry. “

Hmm, my friend, I almost cried because I was so hurt to get this response from her, especially because in times past, I have sacrificed quite a lot for her and would definitely have helped her if she was in my shoes.

How did I feed myself on that seemingly unfortunate day!? Hmm, it’s well. let’s just thank God. I’m still alive today!

And since then I have realized that…

Giving and always expecting to receive back is like going into a lion’s den, believing that they will not eat you because you don’t eat lions.

Now, it’s absolutely normal to expect to receive back from those that we give to. It’s just human!


When we start feeling so entitled and expect to always receive back from the exact people which we gave to, then there is a problem. A problem big enough to rob us of our mental and emotional energy.

Let me explain.

You see, I believe that what goes around truly comes around. Really, it does but it would most likely not come back to us the way we expect it to.

We would most likely receive it back in another form or from another person which we never expected it from. The earlier we accept this, the more peaceful we would be with others.

But most times, we get angry because we are so rigid: feeling attached and entitled, and we already have a picture of how and from whom we believe we would receive from but this would mostly lead to frustration, heartbreak, or – at its worst – depression.

So, how do we make sure we don’t fall into this trap of depression? How do we control our expectations from others so that we can live peacefully with them?


Yes, you should try to help as many people as you can, but if your heart isn’t right and you are not ready to give willingly, then don’t.

You see, like that story I told of my amazing friend who refused to help me with what to eat (even though she knew I was sick), claiming that she only had enough to feed herself…

It’s better to not give if you know you’re doing so grudgingly and with a feeling of entitlement to receive back.

When you give with a hidden agenda to receive the favor back someday, then you’re surely signing up for frustration. If you don’t want to give freely, it is better to just say NO. Yes, it is harder, but because it would free you from unrealistic expectations, it is better.

Saying yes because you expect to receive back is easy but it might result into heartbreak, frustration and sometimes depression. And that is not pretty.



When you give, don’t expect that same person to give you back something later on, accept the fact that they just may not be capable and may not even be willing.

And that’s fine. It doesn’t mean they are a bad person. I mean, you also don’t/haven’t given back to everyone who has given something to you in your life, have you?

And if you have, then I admire you. But please don’t expect the same from others.

What you can expect instead is that somehow, somewhere, and someday, someone would give you something back. Read that again. It sounds so uncertain, right? Exactly! That’s the idea. That kind of mindset sets you free from attachment and entitlement.

When you give, never expect back or if you want to be optimistic, let be quite uncertain and undefined. Just imagine that someone, somewhere in the world, would somehow, one day give you something.


Never give because you expect back and mostly importantly, never/don’t expect to receive from the same person you gave to.

Remember, giving and always expecting to receive back is like expecting lions not to eat you because you don’t eat lions. You would most likely regret it.

If you have read to this point, then I strongly believe something must have caught your attention. And I am quite optimistic that it’s because you found this helpful!

Share your thoughts/feedback with us in the comments section. It means a lot to us as we would love to learn from what you have learnt here and your insight might also help another person. Don’t keep it to yourself!


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