Ever since I was young, I’ve always been told to be kind.
Kindness is indeed, important. The world is already a cruel place. Any small act of kindness goes a long way.
Unfortunately, what people didn’t tell me was to be kind selectively.
I’ve been taken advantage of because of my kindness. This is my story.
People will take advantage of you
Kindness is often seen as a form of weakness. People think that we’re vulnerable when we open our hearts and be kind to people.
That is a ridiculously wrong misconception!
Don’t let others to tell you that being kind is a weakness. I believe we’re kind because we’ve seen so many bad things happening (to us or to people around us) that we simply don’t wish any of that on anyone else.
Unfortunately for kind people, someone will always find ways to take advantage of us.
Sometimes, we help our friends pay for something in advance, but we don’t get our money back. Or sometimes, we help our friends with their errands, but they couldn’t be bothered to help us with ours.
I had a close friend from school whom I reconnected with about 2 years ago. He’s not a bad person, but I wouldn’t call him my true friend.
One particularly bad experience stood out with him.
A few years back, I stayed in Klang while he stayed at Putra Heights.
We’d always hang out at Subang Jaya. If you know your geography well, you’d know that Putra Heights is not far from Subang Jaya, while Klang is very out of the way from Subang.
This friend of mine would always ask me to go to his house in Putra Heights to pick him up before going out. I had to pay 2 tolls to get to him, and another 2 to get home.
It was frustrating chauffeuring him around. Eventually I decided that his friendship was entirely one-sided. I cut him out from my life and never felt better.
But sometimes you feel sorry for the situation they’re in…
So you decide to help someone out of the kindness of your heart. How is this bad, you say?
Because if one of your ‘friends’ decides to make up a story so believable, you’d fall for it. And when you do find out that they lied to you, you feel cheated and betrayed.
Once, I helped lend a small amount of money to someone, which she said she needed quite desperately. To my horror, I found out later that she lent a big portion of the money to someone else.
I asked her, “Why did you lend money to someone else when you needed it for yourself?”
Her response was that her friend didn’t have cash with her at that time. Two problems here – one, she needed help financially as well and two, she got her priorities wall wrong.
Safe to say, I haven’t got the cash back from her till this day.
You’re there for others — but they aren’t always there for you
Funny how when people want something from you, whether it’s advice or help, you’ll be the first one that pops into their head.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m flattered that people trust me with advice for their troubles or thinking I’m reliable enough to help them. In fact, most of the time, I would.
But when the tables are turned and you need their help, they’ll give you a long list of excuses why they can’t help you at this time.
By the end of it, you’ll feel bad if you still ask for their help.
I’m not saying I expect people to be able to help me all the time. But it hurts when you’re the one who always helps without hesitation while others just give excuses.
That same school friend of mine would always ask for my help to pay for certain things. I don’t say no because they’re not usually huge amounts.
He would eventually return the money he owes me, but not without countless reminders.
Then there are times when I needed his help but got excuses in return. It came to a point where I just didn’t bother to even ask him when I’m in need anymore.
You get patronized when you ask for a favour in return
Normally, when it comes to lending money, you have a set limit as to how much you’d help someone. We all have bills to pay and we shouldn’t sacrifice our lifestyle to help others.
I’ve had multiple encounters where I politely decline to help them, and got called heartless or cruel.
Let’s get this straight – you’re not cruel.
You’ve just had enough of always helping others at the expense of yourself. When you lend a huge amount of money to someone, you’d have to change your plans and your entire budget for the month. Because you don’t know when you’d be getting back your loan.
So, imagine being called heartless when you tell them ‘no’.
Sometimes I would facepalm myself and ask, “Why am I even helping someone like you?”
I helped my ex financially for a while after our break-up, just to get her through a rough patch.
I know most of you would say that she’s no longer my responsibility. To be fair, I just didn’t want to be that ‘a-hole’ who left her in a ditch.
Initially, it was only supposed to be for 2 months. I convinced myself that that was manageable.
It turns out that it wasn’t just 2 months. It dragged on to about half a year. There were countless handouts before I finally called it quits.
It was just too much because it felt like I suddenly had a teenage daughter. Yes, I compare her to a female child, incapable of supporting herself financially – because she is, despite being in her late 20s.
Be kind to a select few — and not at your own expense.
Guys, despite all my experiences, I still stand by my value of being kind to others. I just make it a point to be selective to those who I’m kind to.
Not everyone deserves your kindness. Always bear in mind that we should always be wary, consider all possibilities, and really know who we’re helping before helping them.
Sometimes, we need to be a little selfish for our own happiness.
For similar articles, read You Shouldn’t Lend Money to Friends and Family, and Here’s Why, and 4 Signs You’re in a Toxic Friendship (And Why You Need to Leave).