If everyone reading this were to donate…

Don’t worry, I’m not actually asking you to donate anything. I’m not even asking you to read this post, the title of which comes from words which I keep seeing everywhere I go on the internet, in fact they are on the homepage of my browser whenever I open it.

If I gave a little tiny bit to everyone who is asking me to give a little tiny bit… I’d be as depleted as all the batteries in my gadgets which are now being charged because they ran out of juice, except I can’t recharge myself as easily as that – where do I plug myself in? – and I also have to foot the bill for the charges of charging and recharging.

It’s that time of year when we’re (guilted, urged, poked and prodded, emotionally blackmailed, conditioned to believe, brainwashed into) feeling generous. Give, Give, GIVE! We’re all supposed to be giving… so who is doing the receiving (taking, grasping, grabbing, eating, benefitting, profiteering)?

Okay, we’re all doing a bit of both, but is it fairly balanced? Is the give and take flowing back and forth so that we all get our share and no one gets left out, or left with less than others?

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donating humor

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This time of year we’re encouraged to spend, Spend, SPEND! and shortly after our spending spree has climaxed, when the new year begins we’re given all sorts of advice about how to recuperate from the damage which our spending has done to our piggy bank. All that generosity which was supposed to make us all feel so good, loving, worthy, richly rewarded, has left us feeling poor, anxious (Taxes are looming!), and depleted on so many levels that…

But wait! There are sales, Sales, SALES! PRICES SLASHED! SAVE by SPENDING! And for those of us who celebrate Christmas, we can buy next year’s gifts now, Now, NOW! Think of how much you’ll save and how clever you are being as you won’t need to go through the hustle hassle of Xmas shopping during the Xmas shopping madness. And we can’t stop spending just yet because the economy needs our donations, and if we don’t donate more of ourselves we’ll suffer from the knock-on effect of our reticence to be broke and we’ll end up broke and living in a brokeback country.

There are people who make lots of money informing us on how to be wiser with our own money (usually we have to wisely give them a portion of ours so that we can be taught to not unwisely give money to others, and things like that).

If the words following –  If everyone reading this were to donate… – make any reference to money (which they usually do, albeit a tiny insignificant amount which in theory you’re not going miss or feel the bite, the pinch, the loss, and you’ll be grateful for giving because it’ll ease your guilt and save someone or something, so you’re a hero) all the person asking for money will get is a few specks of the dust my feet kick up as I make a hasty exit.

Am I a miser? A grinch? Or am I being parsimonious? Saving my pennies for a rainy day?

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grinch of sharing

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If the person asking me to donate my pennies (which these days are usually dollars, pounds, etc, due to inflation) happens to be a well-known personage, someone who is also well-known to be wealthy enough to own several mansions, private jets, yachts, rooms full of expensive clothing and other accessories, the accoutrements of the mega-rich… then I do get rather grinchy.

My logic tends to go to exactly where you think it goes – their pocket money could fund an entire nation, so why don’t they stop asking and just do it. Of course my logic is flawed, if it wasn’t I’d probably be where they are saying what they are saying to people like me (but I’d no longer be a people like me I’d be a better than people like me (holier than thou) people like them). That penny which you’re treating as a nothing, which you tell me that I won’t miss is worth more to me than thousands of those pennies are worth to you. If the personage who is telling me what to do with my money happens to be a self-made millionaire, then they should know better… and they do know better, they know that they made their millions from entrepreneurship (schemes, cons, hustles) like this one (Pay up or the wittle bunny wabbit dies and that would make you an accessory to murder… it’s for charidee FFS!).

There are people who get given lemons and… then there are those like me who actually have to buy lemons if they want them.

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free lemons

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While navigating the gauntlet of online demands for money, and feeling increasingly bad about myself for using services for free (even though the ethos behind the creation of the internet was the free distribution of information), I came across an article  – 10 Instant Ways to be More Likeable – which had this tidbit:

“It’s counterintuitive, but asking someone to do you a favor makes him or her like you more. (Huffington Post)”

I paused and allowed the dust to settle a bit. My inquiring mind was befuddled but not beyond understanding. People like to feel needed, so asking for a favour makes someone feel needed… but does that really make them like you more, and is everything we do all about being liked, feeling liked, being needed and feeling needed?

If you do a search for – How to make people like you – there are countless articles, lists, and How-To’s giving us all the same tactics to use to get others to want more of us. Many of these tactics are logical, however some require manipulation of ourselves to manipulate others into giving us what we want from them. Some of those advise giving to others what they want, telling them what they want to hear, making them feel liked and needed.

How much are we willing to pay to be liked? How much are we willing to give to feel needed?

And does this mean that we love needy people because they’re constantly asking for favours?

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not needy but wanty

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I came across an interesting article tackling the issue of manipulation and the different forms which it takes…

“Favorite weapons of manipulators are: guilt, complaining, comparing, lying, denying (including excuses and rationalizations), feigning ignorance, or innocence (the “Who me?” defense), blame, bribery, undermining, mind games, assumptions, “foot-in-the-door,” reversals, emotional blackmail, evasiveness, forgetting, fake concern, sympathy, apologies, flattery, and gifts and favors. Manipulators often use guilt by saying directly or through implication, “After all I’ve done or you,” or chronically behaving needy and a helpless. They may compare you negatively to someone else or rally imaginary allies to their cause, saying that, “Everyone” or “Even so and so thinks xyz” or “says xyz about you.”

and the different manner that people do it – How to Spot Manipulation – one of which is the favour-asker.

“The “foot-in-the-door” technique is making a small request that you agree to, which is followed by the real request. It’s harder to say no, because you’ve already said yes. The reversal turns your words around to mean something you didn’t intend. When you object, manipulators turn the tables on you so that they’re the injured party. Now it’s about them and their complaints, and you’re on the defensive.”

However another manipulative tactic is the favour-giver:

“Codependents use charm and flattery and offer favors, help, and gifts to be accepted and loved. Criticism, guilt, and self-pity are also used to manipulate to get what they want: “Why do you only think of yourself and never ask or help me with my problems? I helped you.” Acting like a victim is a way to manipulate with guilt.”

Now… I’m guessing that one word in the above quote will perhaps rile and trigger a few people. Dust will be kicked up about it. We all have our buttons, and once they are pressed… off we go.

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“I shot an Arrow into the air
It fell to earth I know not where,
For so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.”

-Longfellow

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However sometimes we return to our starting point, our trigger, and look at it with the eyes of experience (of a pattern repeated, a vicious cycle which makes us dizzy) which actually want to see with insight, understanding, and the desire to unravel a knot (because we’re fed up of being tied up and strangled by it).

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Emily the StrangeEmily the Strange

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The other day I noticed that a blogger had added a ‘donate’ button to their blog. This isn’t unusual as it is (as far as I know) a free service available on a free blogging platform. What was unusual was that this blogger had only been blogging for a short while in blog time. Still, if you don’t ask…

I don’t think that I would ever use a donate button for something which I do for free (and do for me). Perhaps if I paid for the use of WordPress (which is an option that gives you more blog bells and whistles), I might consider it, but… I doubt it. It just doesn’t sit right with me, just as it doesn’t sit right with me when someone else does it… however my view of someone else doing it has nothing to do with them and is to do with me. I don’t like to ask people for favours (particularly for money favours) because I don’t like being asked for favours (asking me for a favour does not make me like you). I guess I am a grinch and a miser. However it has more to do with this:

“If you grew up being manipulated, it’s harder to discern what’s going on because it feels familiar. You might have a gut feeling of discomfort or anger, but on the surface the manipulator may use words that are pleasant, ingratiating, reasonable, or that play on your guilt or sympathy, so you override your instincts and don’t know what to say. Codependents have trouble being direct and assertive and may use manipulation to get their way. They’re also easy prey for being manipulated by narcissists, borderline personalities, sociopaths, and other codependents, including addicts.”

To me, what feels familiar…

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familiar liar

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… often feels familial (with familiar being pronounced like famiglia), especially when accompanied by a gut feeling of discomfort or anger. When someone asks me for money or a favour which asks me to invest myself in them, their needs, I often feel both of those. The discomfort makes me angry, because the discomfort is warning me that someone is about to take advantage of my generosity which they view as the way in to get under my skin and settle there, using spikes if they have to like a Candiru fish (if you’ve never heard of this fish, DON’T look it up – especially if you are male).

It’s very clever, really, because once you invest yourself in someone else, such as donating to someone’s blog, you’re in some ways obliged to keep giving of yourself to them, keep following them, because now you have a vested interest and hope that it offers you a rewarding return. Finance works on many levels. As does politics. Entrepreneurs aren’t only in the realm of business. And neither are Capitalists and opportunists.

One of the biggest complaints the complaints department of the company of me gets from other people is that I rarely ask for help, favours, from others, and this gives them the impression that I don’t need them and they don’t like feeling that way. But I don’t like feeling the other way. So, how do we reach a please everyone involved scenario? The thing is, I do need them, just not in the way which they expect need to express itself, and want to be needed, and so my version of needing others often gets overlooked, dismissed as something else, and misinterpreted. I do ask for help and favours, but it usually comes with a proviso which confuses.

Speaking of which…

I do actually have a favour to ask of you, and do want you to donate… some of your creativity, opinions, perspective, if you have the time and find it fun. Which is something I was going to ask in this post, but then the post went off on a different track, so I’ll do a post about it tomorrow or later this week. Someone has asked me for a favour of sorts, and I’m slightly regretting my tentative ‘yes’ reply to their request… it could be fun. I’ll explain later.

So, what do you think? care to share or prefer not to share?