What Annoys Me … #9 Always (Having To) Pay Back Small Favours

I am often dependent on other people’s assistance. For instance, whenever it comes to looking after my mother in the nursing home, I am very happy that there are people who will help without reservations.

For me, this is a good thing. However, at regular intervals, I am reminded to buy a bouquet of flowers or some other present for those helpful people. Or else to tip them. Fortunately, it is not Barbara who keeps reminding me, because I have a feeling this would not be beneficial for our marriage.

There are, however, more “Super-Egos walking on two legs” in my world who, of course, only want the best for me.

That makes me angry!

Because I believe many people like to be of assistance. Just driven by an inner sense of helpfulness. They do not want material compensation. Instead, they would be happy about a sincerely expressed “thank you”. Particularly those who like to help do not think in terms of “book-keeping”.

I often try to help  other people. I am happy when I feel that my help has been received with gratitude. The idea that I might get a bouquet of flowers or a bar of chocolate (or, even worse, a box of candies) gives me the creeps.

The bouquet will need a flower pot. After a few days, it will start smelling. Chocolate is bad for your figure, in the case of candies, you also have to dispose of plenty of wrapping material. A simple “Thank You” is definitely very much more to my liking. And I do have the impression that many other people think the same.

What do I do about it?

If the favour has been something that took a huge effort and was very important for me, I write a short “Thank-You” letter. Or else, I send an email. The approach I like best, however, is for me to try and meet personally – if that is at all possible. Then I tell the person concerned how important and valuable his service was for  me. And I also tell them how grateful I am. If the person who treated me so well is needy, I sometimes think of some financial way to say thank you. But I try not to hurt his or her feelings.

And if I know that someone loves “Candies“ or „Red Roses“, then I am even prepared to make it an exception from the rule! But I prefer to delight people with these kinds of gifts with no special reason!

(Translated by EG)

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