Don’t Ask For What You Can’t Give

Don't ask for what you are unable to give

It usually happens to couples, but often also to parents and children, to friends and in any other type of human relationship. We are talking about those situations where one side asks, demands or demands too much, but when it is time to give, it turns out to be stingy and selfish.

Such people feel they deserve anything, but they give nothing in return. They are the ones who notice “the speck in the eye of others”, but do not notice the beam they have in theirs. Finally, they are manipulative and often manage to convince others to please them in exchange for nothing, indeed, even making them feel guilty when they don’t.

The bonds that these people create always have an ulterior motive. However, they mask them in such a way as not to let it be noticed and for this reason they achieve what they want: to ask a lot and give little, even with the consent of the “victim”. If you don’t want to fall into this type of behavior, it is worth knowing which are the five situations to avoid.

Don’t ask for listening if you don’t know how to listen

give girl inside heart shaped cage

It is one of the most frequent cases: those who always want to talk and expect others to listen, but when they have to listen they deny themselves, they get distracted or, suddenly, they don’t have time and leave.

It often happens when parents want their children to hear their sermons but don’t take the time to hear what the children themselves think. It happens to couples, when one of the two becomes the “support” of the other. It happens to friends, between teachers and students, between work colleagues.

Don’t ask for understanding if you can’t understand


This is another very common situation. It is about the eternal misunderstood, those who feel different from others and who always complain of their indifference. For them, being understood is a natural right, but one that is denied them by others.

For this reason, they complain and blame others, as if they are not fulfilling their moral obligations. They did not understand that understanding is a flower that must be cultivated, first in oneself and then in others.

Respect is not demanded, it is earned. And among the many attitudes of human beings, perhaps it is the one that best exemplifies the principle of fairness. In other words, there is no other way to earn the respect of others than by respecting yourself and others.

Sometimes respect is confused with fear or reverence. The figures of a certain authority tend to “get respected” through imposition or fear. What they get is just what they seek: fear and submission, but not respect.

Don’t ask for peace if you sow violence


This is one of the most paradoxical cases. It is seen above all in people who scream and ask others not to scream or those who get exasperated and shout: “When you despair, you make me angry!”.

It is very common for aggressive people to always ask for peace of mind. In general, they blame others for their violent reactions. Apparently they are not masters of their emotions, were it not for others, they would be the most peaceful individuals on earth. And it’s the mistakes of others that make them lose control.

They forget that peace is not outside, but within each of us. They underestimate the fact that each of us must work to achieve self-control and autonomy. If we sow peace, surely peace is what we will reap.

Don’t ask for perfection if you are human like everyone else

Some people have an overly positive opinion of themselves. They set themselves up as role models for others. Almost always these are psycho-rigid people who consider adherence to the rules the only parameter to judge everything and everyone.

Because they follow what is established to the letter, they give themselves the right to judge and condemn others. They don’t understand that perhaps what leads them to be so scrupulous may be fear or repression.

They do not want to conceive that there are other ways of looking at life as valid as theirs. They feel “perfect” without being, because no one is,  but this fantasy justifies, in front of themselves, the perfection they demand from others.


Images courtesy of Beth Lokh and Jeannette Woitzik.

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