Are you one of those nice people? You know the kind: everyone tells you their sad, traumatic stories; you are the go-to person when people want LARGE sums of cash (think 10s of thousands of dollars!); you become the nurse for someone you just met who informs you that she is chronically ill; you baby-sit her kids because she is so busy, and sooo tired; you always have a fresh, home-cooked meal that is expensive enough to be everyone’s favorite dish. You know the type of nice person I speak of, right?
I cannot imagine what it is to be this person, so selfless, so giving, so damned naive! I just want to shake this kind of woman and tell her to take of herself and her family. Because it always turns out that the people she helps are the scams and scums of the Earth. They don’t deserve it. They borrow money and never pay back. They accept the nursing and baby-sitting, and then say how their kids were neglected, and how the nursing was completely inadequate. They eat the meals they request (for free) and talk about what a terrible cook this person is. The utter nerve.
So if you are one of these nice people, I have some advice for you. Anytime you hear some lengthy dramatic story, ask yourself the following questions:
Is this a)drama or b)trauma? If the answer is a)drama, quit right now. Don’t listen to another word. Say good-bye, there is someone at the door, and put the phone down. Or tell the person the truth. If the answer is b)trauma, go to the next question.
If I were in this situation, would I a)ask Allah for help, or would I b)degrade myself by asking a complete stranger? If the answer is a, then the solution to this person’s problems is way more than you can or should handle. If the answer is b, recall the saying “No good deed goes unpunished!” and prepare yourself for the punishment that person will heap upon you for the privilege of helping him or her out.
This method works for me. It takes my heart out of the equation, and allows my head to make decisions without interference from the heartstrings that are being professionally yanked.