My husband and I were comfortable financially. A dear friend hit hard times and we gave her some money. She did not ask but I knew it was needed. She cried and said we were lifesavers.
My husband lost his job a couple of years after that. We used our savings and credit cards up and just got by. My husband finally got a good job but we were deeply in debt and struggled to make our monthly payments.
My friend came into a large sum of money right at that point and they took a big vacation, and bought many luxury items. She knew we were struggling to make ends meet and while she sympathized, she never once offered to do for us what we had done for her.
We took steps to get our debt cleared up and are once again financially stable but I can hardly look at my friend these days. They live only a couple of blocks from us. We used to have coffee together almost every single day and got together a couple of times a month with our husbands for card nights but I have made enough excuses that she has stopped asking. We do still talk on the phone occasionally.
Do I let her know how hurt I am? 0119-15
The timing of this story submission coincides well with my intention to discuss the topic of expectations we all have in regards to our relationships with other people. I had recently heard or read an interesting phase which I believe sums up the dangers of having expectations that people owe you something.
“Expectations are premeditated resentments.”
My mother used to say that we are not disappointed because we got too little but that we expected too much. Oh, how true. Expectations are unspoken contracts we place on others and when they fail to live up to the demands of this contract, when our expectations are not met, we feel justified in resenting the other person for failing to live up to the expectations placed on them.
So, dear OP, you gave your friend a gift which had unseen and unknown strings attached to it. Upon handing your friend money, you promptly placed a contract upon her that she was not aware of and when she failed to honor the terms of your expectations, you resented it. Expectations are premeditated resentments because the bottom line, the harsh reality, is that people can, do and will let you down. YOu set your friend up for failure because you assumed she would and should reciprocate in the exact same way should you ever have the same need some day. In essence, you really didn’t give her a gift, you used her as a bank to store money with the expectation that your friend would return it some day when you needed it. The problem is, she was not aware that your gift came with these expectations and now you resent her for not knowing the terms of your expectation.
You could talk with your friend to express to her how hurt you feel but what you will do is expose the fact that while she never asked for nor expected any money from you, you most certainly did have expectations that you not only deserved part of her good fortune but when she did not deliver what you felt she owed you, you resented her for not reading your mind. You won’t come out smelling of roses, OP. I suggest changing your perspective and viewing your infusion of cash as a true gift and needed charity at a time when someone was needy and further, divest yourself of the expectation that this friend, or anyone for the matter, owes you money when you might be in similar circumstances. You will be a happier person with no expectations that people owe you anything other than gratitude for the gifts you give.