Major disclaimer. I am not a doctor, I don’t claim to be one. I don’t claim to be an expert. Everything expressed anywhere on this blog (site, really) is truly only factual when it comes to my books, but even that shifts with time as some books get edited, then those “facts,” can become opinions on my own work. Technically. So these are strictly my views, opinions, and I don’t demand anyone to take them on, or anything. This is just another opinion, stated in my own way. As my blogs always are.
Majority of the time I don’t think anyone is even reading or caring that I write this stuff to be honest. But I am a writer, and being open in life is important to me. I like to share what I know, what I learn. I like to write. I’ve done the cold, closed off, trust few, don’t be vulnerable, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve girl. I’ve discovered being open and vulnerable? Helps. Helps me, helps that one person who needed to hear my words (or read). So for that ONE person, even if it be me later on, I write this. If we could all just show that ONE person, I get it, I see you. Me too! I think we’d do good. Be kind, ya know? They want us angry, want us to not connect. If I just help one person in my life. I’m happy. I know what that lack of connection feels like. I know what it’s like to be overlooked. To not be seen, to not be understood, to not be “it.” Not fun. Not at all. Gets old after a while.
So if it helps you? That makes me happy. I am happy to know it does. Makes my entire day. I am not one who likes to do “ten ways to ___” either. So I do tend to just write, and not censor too much. I’m not interested in enabling the “quick, short, rush,” mindset. Longer writing helps us slow down, take it in, remain in one place for a time. Too many are enabling the “bite-sized, no time for it,” mindset and I’m not built that way so my writing isn’t for everyone. I’m okay with that too. I understand it. I can be that way sometimes, but I think now we need to relearn to slooooowww down. Not move faster. Better for us. Sometimes I do the bite size too, but not usually.
What is a transactional relationship?
This is something many of us have experienced, and may unwittingly do to others at times. It is important to note when we do it if we are a person (like moi) who wants to try not to see people as an object, as something that can “fulfill,” a need that we should ourselves, and wants to love freely. It’s important if we don’t want to be in a transaction based relationship. Love unconditionally. Without terms. Without expectations. If we’re (like moi) attempting to learn/see the bad to become better. To recognize those same patterns in us that we hope to see change in others. (Note – not to change others, but to recognize so we can see it, perhaps address it if necessary, inspire it in others (accept them whether they choose to improve or not), even bring it to their attention by asking if they see it (in some, not all relationships.)
I heard the term transactional, (transaction based) through an account on YouTube that I enjoy listening to here and there. Adam Elenbaas is the one. The way he presents information on planets and their potential to affect our daily lives (he points out they don’t cause, but they can influence), and discusses things is just very interesting to listen to. So I didn’t come up with this term, he did. I just adopted it because it’s such a great way to discuss this. I highly suggest you checking out his content.
When he brought it up, he was talking about effectively our ability to give love (may not know we are) with an expectation. I’ve addressed this before on Facebook too. We can be as generous as we like. We can give freely of our time, of our love, of anything we have. The problem comes only when we have an expectation of a return. As I told someone recently, yes that even includes a “thank you.”
Because at that point, we’re not giving to give. We’re not loving to love. What we’re doing is actually selfish in a way. We expect something for what we’ve given. Now, I’m not at all saying that’s bad. I’m not saying that they are bad people, that we are. Simply saying that’s wrong, you’re bad? How’s that make anyone better? This is strictly about seeing what we’re doing, what we’ve been taught, and maybe hoping to see if there is a chance we can become better at it. To see if we can improve. I for one, am not interested in relationships where one or the other (or both gosh forbid) keep a tally of gifts and things done for the other. Well, I gave you x, so now I should get y. Well, two years ago I did ___ for you, so you owe me ___ in return.
We’ve all (most likely) dealt with someone like that. I’ve found women (not all) tend to be the worst, opposite may be true for you, or another. Where they catalog events, gifts, arguments, things done wrong, and will note them down in a list. So when they are feeling bad about themselves, when they are having a “moment,” they begin to list off. “Ohhhhhhh yeah? Well let me tell you what you did then!” “Oh well this is what you did and that and you are this and that because ten years ago you never said thank you for that birthday card!”
They store it in their mental bank. A list of all our wrongs. All gifts they ever gave us. All words we ever said wrong to them. Just waiting. Just wanting that moment to reach in there and start the list. All to point out everything we didn’t do. The blame game, the shame game, the abuse game.
We see it (you will when it’s published) in Scorched Silence with Hank and Kora. The mindset of, I have saved you (so he believes) therefore you owe me. I protect you (he believes) so you need to repay me. What he does isn’t freely given. What he says isn’t so kind, either.
So he does just that. Every single interaction he will note, he will file away in his mental bank. A nice large file of, “these are all the things I have done for Kora, the nice words, the gestures.” He does it purely with the idea of, “she will return this.” It’s selfish. He gives nothing without a return. In his case, he isn’t afraid to bring in the physical.
As far as he is concerned, she owes him. She is to pay him back for all the things he does. Not at all seeing that she never asked; she in fact tries to run away, and is constantly aggressive toward him. Which to him is wrong. In his mind he’s seeing her as ungrateful. Because it’s transaction based. I do x, you do y. Even that thank you. That too, is an expectation.
Now, in your case or mine? It’s perfectly acceptable to hope for a thank you. Notice I said hope. They don’t OWE us a thank you. It IS good manners to say thank you and appropriate. It’s kind. Can be rude not to at least say thank you. The action, not them. We all have been brought up like that. (Most I would like to think, still teach saying please and thank you.) Still doesn’t mean they owe us that.
But if we look at it. It can be wrong on both sides. If we give something, even if we don’t think we expect something, but then feel irritation? It came from expectation. Overgivers (I am one and have found myself doing this) can sometimes offer help, then feel that niggly sensation inside because we didn’t get acknowledged in return. It’s not “Stop giving.” It’s about give less, or give the same just learn not to have an expectation of a return.
It can often be seen as wrong on the other side too. If faced with someone consistently give give giving, it can be too much. So on that side, even offering a thank you can be encouragement. After all the stalkers I’ve dealt with, and harassment in my life? I’ve learned any attention is attention. Even anger, confrontation, a look. I saw someone say don’t turn the other cheek, it doesn’t teach anything. Aggressive attack, does. I shook my head. I’ve done it. I understand their side. But often? It leads to more problems OR problems where before they would’ve left one alone. It’s not black and white. We don’t solve problems by becoming the problem.
So on the side of the receiver, even they can struggle. Kora is faced with that icky sensation inside. Knowing Hank expects a return, knowing nothing he does is for doing it, knowing one day he will come to collect. If he even offers to hand her something. That tiny thing is going in his mental bank.
Kora gets to the point where she cringes because she knows – he’s gonna expect a return. No matter how much she fights, how much she ignores, that list is ticking away inside of him and it’s only a matter of time before it’s brought up. Before he begins the, “oh let me tell YOU what I have done and you owe me for.”
What can we do?
Simple. Either stop giving and expecting a return of any kind, or pull back on the giving.
The most powerful thing I’ve heard that helped me came from Kristen Bell. She stated that her and Dax struggled with give and take because he’d been raised, if you can do it yourself, do it. She’d been raised, if you love someone, you take care of them. It’s how you show it. His love was shown by letting her take care of herself. I’m not quoting so bear that in mind. You can hear it in his amazing podcast, Armchair Expert, and listen to the first (?) episode? The one she’s on.
Her talk made me realize it was downright selfish to always be the one doing for the other. Letting them take care of me allowed them the same feel good reaction that I got in taking care of them. It helped me to see that I was denying another that feeling by not allowing people to take care of me, and do nice things for me. Though I didn’t log the, “well I did this, I did that, you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that,”part of it, I was taking and expecting versus unconditionally giving. Because I was doing it all myself. So where I thought it was giving, I was also taking.
My biggest struggle is feeling irritation if I help someone and they don’t offer me credit in return. Is it decent to credit people? Absolutely. But it’s also decent on my side not to expect even that much if I give my time and say yes to helping. So I have to work on learning to give up that expectation, or stop helping as much.
I’ve always been a generous giver. Love to give, I don’t expect a return from the person. But I have found at times I hold expectations in life, and in general. Say, “I’m being good, doing good, where is my return,” sort of thing? So that’s the struggle I also face. Not a person owing me, but a life return. Where’s all this good getting me, ya know?! lol So I’m trying to notice where/when I do that more, acknowledge it (our biggest help), then address it. Work in progress.
However Kora’s story is still ongoing. So we don’t know where that is headed. We shall see.
What about you? Has this ever been a struggle? 👇Drop it in the comments and lemme know. Where have you found yourself turning a moment into a transaction based relationship?This isn’t about making you feel bad, just showing we all have moments to improve upon. I fully admit my flaws. I am working on them so I for one don’t need another to point them out, but to acknowledge it myself, is a huge first step.
If you like this content. Like, comment, and share with your friends. Follow for more. I’m always open to learning more about you, hearing how you think so feel free to tell us about your process in the comments. You might help or inspire someone else. Open discussions welcome. 🙂 Maybe we can learn from one another & gain more wisdom. I look forward to your thoughts if you feel inclined to. Hope to see you around here again. As I grow on this Journey of Life, maybe something I say will help you. Maybe you’re just gonna sit back and laugh at my stupidity. Either way works.
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