Can favors and gifts be self-centered?

It has taken me a while to understand what my problem with most of my ex partners has been. I cannot say these guys were selfish. In fact if anything they did more things for me than I did for them. It seemed at the time selfish of me to still be dissatisfied. I mean, what else was I missing, I had guys doing grocery shopping, giving me massages – it was great.

So today it dawned on me that, yes these guys did many great things for me, but those were mostly the things they wanted to be done for themselves. Let me explain – you all know probably someone who always gives you gifts they wish to receive. I mean couple of first times it is kind of funny, but after a while it starts getting really annoying. I mean, on the paper, the gift giver is doing you a nice thing. It seems selfish to be angry at them, but…..you just cannot get rid of the feeling that something is off….

So I had this boyfriend who gave me as a present stuffed bear for Valentine’s day. I hate stuffed animals, he knew it. So when I received a gift, I actually did an impolite thing and asked him about it and he said, yeah, but it is still nice, is it not? The same boyfriend also gave me as a gift the book about women’s health and again I asked him if he has ever gotten the idea that this topic is something that excites me and he said no, but this is something you should be interested in. It took me years to understand that this guy actually did not like who I was and his gifts were part of him turning me into who he thought I should be. They were never about me, they were about creating a perfect partner for him.

Then I had another boyfriend who was very generous also with the kind of favors I wanted to receive…..but only when HE felt like it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t assume people to always say yes to my requests, however at the point when you do these favors mostly when you feel it and not when other one actually needs them, again, they cease to be about the other person and become self-centered acts, mostly done when you feel like you need a fix in terms of being a good person. So one evening you feel down about who you as a person are, you figure, now it is time to give my partner a massage so I will feel good again. I mean if she actually needs a massage is beyond the point, I mean on the paper you have done something really good, right?

So I have come to realize that I was not selfish and crazy when I perceived that there was something wrong with those favors. They actually were self-centered and had very little to do with me. However these guys could always use these favors against me, on a count down when it came to justifying why I ought to do something for them or how I was super selfish.

 

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