We live in complicated times. People are pretentious and hence you never get to see what's behind the facade. More often than not, being pretentious is the root cause of nonsensical conflicts. As a result, the prevailing attitude seems to be 'You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' which seems to impress that a person simply wishes to play safe and avoid an embarrassing situation.
This embarrassing situation may sound something like this - "I had called him to wish a Happy Birthday last month, today when it was my birthday, he didn't even text a wish ! I'm never wishing him again !"
This embarrassing situation is quite a misnomer. I argue that if you do good to others, if you ignore the 'Return on Investment' principle, you will still get your return, not in kind perhaps, but in more valuable 'mental peace' points. Any expectation that is tied in to a good deed is at its core wrong !
Even in this day and age, if you 'Do Good' to others, if you bring them even a shred of satisfaction, a smile, it would surely do a full circle back in your own life as mental calm and satisfaction. Isn't that exactly what we, as humans, long for ? Isn't that something, we work so hard to get ?
And yet, we crib and vilify when someone doesn't return a phone call. Are we, as the most intelligent species on this planet, so gullible to negativity and frustration ?
If this is so, then we're most certainly not intelligent !!
As a ready reckoner, here are some things that you can do :
When you wish someone, either on their birthday or life event, do not create an expectation to be wished in return. I've seen people create false negative personas of people who fail to return a phone call or a birthday wish. I mean, seriously ? If you're going to get wished by one less person this year, will you die of a horrendous case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome ?
When you help someone in life, either for a job, or some other work due to your influential position, do not create an expectation to be helped in return. This is the number one recipe for all things sour. Just understand that your good karma will go a very long way and close the chapter there and then. You will be surprised how well this works for you in your life.
Be polite in your actions. People react on the basis of how you behave with them. Always be polite, even to the rudest of individuals. Feel elevated and elated in the fact that you are in control and the other guy's not.
Do some charity. The most common excuses for not doing charity are "I barely make enough money to survive, why should I do charity ?", "I don't have time to do all this". This is nothing but signs of training one's own brain to be a closed box. Some of the most philanthropic individuals are barely able to survive on their own. And yet they do for others. And above everything they are the most satisfied individuals in life. Isn't satisfaction in life, one of your goals ? No one's asking you to donate your monthly salary to the Missionaries of Charity. But once in a while, part with some of your possessions for the benefit of someone.
Stop cheating yourself. If you're pretentious and you expect a reactive benefit for every positive act that you've done in life, then you're simply cheating yourself into a speculative state of satisfaction that will never arrive.
If you have felt offended by someone's actions towards you, you can choose to ignore and move on, or be equally kind and good in return. This may sound wrong and believe me, I wish I could agree. But the reality is that in returning an offense, you degrade yourself down to a level to which you felt offended in the first place. Is that really an objective ? If you have been wronged traumatically then perhaps you should do what your instinct says because as a human being, I cannot advise you to be good even in the face of traumatic darkness.
Tone down to the point where the other side feels embarrassed. This one applies specifically to those who've been the target of bossy outbursts and short tempered individuals. You can choose to either raise a hue and cry about it, or you can choose to be silent and let the storm pass. The storm will eventually pass and in doing so, the other party will feel mentally embarrassed, even if they do not express so.
The bottom line here is that your actions will do a full circle in life, so act wisely. Be Good to others. You'll be surprised how much happiness it brings back to you ! That is your Return On Investment !