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Old 01-26-2015, 02:20 PM
10 posts, read 4,708 times
Reputation: 15


Originally Posted by GuyontheInternet View Post
Don't do something nice if you expect something in return. This is why I'm glad my family mostly doesn't get involved in Christmas.

And holy sh*t who cares what wording people use...?
I'm curious: do you want people to stop doing nice things for you?

Do you expect people to do nice things for you and not do anything nice back for them?

In other words, do you not want to have relationships?

Maybe your family doesn't do Christmas much in part because no one feels appreciated and in fact feel burned by one another when they give a gift (if they think like you do.)


Also, wording (communication) matters because PEOPLE matter.


Actually, the etiquette is: don't ACCEPT something nice if you are not willing to reciprocate.

For example, if someone buys you a gift and you are not willing to reciprocate with a gift (and thank you) in return, then the onus is on you to not ACCEPT the gift, so that you need not have to return the favor.

Consider the strategy you proposed. I have actually known people who live by your philosophy (most of them in AA, which is where they got it from. In so-called "CODA" AA groups, they teach that people "ought" to give "unconditionally," and no one should feel obliged to reciprocate. This is the complete opposite of kind, caring, well-thought out, long-standing etiquette rules.)

These people go around accepting favors, kindnesses, gifts, or other peoples' business and their customers' hard-earned cash without ever reciprocating or thanking, figuring they shouldn't have to, or claiming they are being "manipulated" by accepting the gifts, kindness, favors, or business of others.

Such rude people never receive a gift or favor from me again. (That is the etiquette rule: if someone doesn't return a favor, stop giving to them.)

When people live by your philosophy, people around them feel hesitant to give, because they know they will likely get burned.

But where the onus is on the recipient to reciprocate, as is the case with long-standing, traditional (intelligent, caring!) etiquette, then people feel free or inclined to give, because they can trust that they will likely not get burned.

In other words, when people live by your philosophy, it discourages generosity of word and deed.

When people live by the philosophy of reciprocation, it encourages generosity of word and deed.

Relationships are, by definition, not one-sided. They are based on a balance of giving and receiving. If the relationship becomes too imbalanced, it dies.

People who expect others to give to them unconditionally are rightfully known as "freeloaders."

If you don't want to extend kindness back, I wish you happiness as a hermit.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:41 AM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,583 posts, read 13,431,059 times
Reputation: 20164
Originally Posted by Yrba View Post
(That is the etiquette rule: if someone doesn't return a favor, stop giving to them.)
Wow, really? Have you ever been known to pay it forward? Perform a kindness for stranger? Help someone in need who may not be able to return the favor? I think I prefer not to live by that kind of etiquette, thank you very much!
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:01 AM
Location: Here and There
2,539 posts, read 3,283,633 times
Reputation: 3766
I thank everybody, just how I was raised. I do say you're welcome some of the time in response to a thank you (mainly to older people), but normally I respond with 'no worries' and a smile. Works for me
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