Hurt by Ungrateful People? Try a True Gift.

Are you a kind and generous person? Do you have talents and abilities to share with less fortunate people? Are you ever outraged at the lack of reciprocity when you give to your friends and family?

Let's do a reality check. Make a short list of times that you feel you were taken advantage of, times when you did someone a big favor and then, when you needed help, he or she was no where to be found.

Now we need some definitions.


A gift is something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. gift.


A contract is an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified. contract.

Let us look at your list again. When you gave your help or service was there a tiny thought or hope in the back of your altruistic mind that you would receive something in return? Perhaps a thank you, a business deal, love or some financial gain? Then that is a contract existing only in your imagination. One that the receiver did not sign.

So many of our good deeds turn into resentment and hurt feelings because we are deserted by the very people that "should" owe us. Did you keep one hand on your gift ready to snatch the pleasant experience of gifting away if the recipient did not respond exactly how you think they should have? Are you indignant and critical of their actions and call them selfish, small minded or bad mannered. Do you despise them for their unfair treatment of you - the Big Giver.

Not fair. You made a contract with only one party, not two. You assumed you would be repaid for your efforts and now you feel taken advantaged of and wronged. But, in reality you are wronging yourself by making a contract out of your gift and bringing stress, toxic anger and bad vibes to friends, family or business associates. If you cannot stop yourself from imagining these one sided contracts, then you must stop doing your good deeds that end up hurting you and everyone in listening proximity.

Or, did you give freely with no strings attached? You know when this happens because you easily forget the gesture or object that you gave away. There are no strings attached. You let go completely. You expect absolutely nothing in return.

Take a good look at your list. Can you find a real gift among your contracts? You may not because they are so often forgotten by the giver. The receiver may remember your real gift forever and the ripple effect of your kindness may have spread far and wide. These wondrous effects may never be known by you.

The next time you get a thought that you have something to give, ask yourself if you are truly prepared to let this gift go freely into the cosmos without your control or manipulation. If instead, you are contemplating a one sided contract, take a few moments alone and ask why you need to control or manipulate to find the love, business or acceptance that you need. Perhaps, there is a more direct route to finding your success. Give only true gifts and free yourself from disappointment.

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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