Regardless of the fact that I think I am a good person, and help others when I can, I find that no one wants to return the favor.  I am continually overlooked and just plain left out.  People at work have even commented that I just assumed I had friends in the workplace.  I have never felt so low.
Zvezda Zvezda
41-45, F
16 Responses May 4, 2007

I'll be your friend!

I think I'll be honest with you even if it might hurt you a bit. It is not my intention to do so, but it is my opinion that some honesty goes a long way even if we don't want to hear it. The key phrase that I heard is "I think I am a good person, and help others when I can, I find that no one wants to return the favor". Do you expect something in return when you do good? If you do, then you are not a good person deep down and people can see through that. Real acts of kindness are uninterested. If you want something then go for it, ask it and take it. Don't do any silent contracts in which you expect something from people in return from your kindness. If you want to be kind, be kind, no strings attached. If you want attention and favors, then ask for them. Do not wait for an offer. Be direct, show your vulnerabilities and do not fear rejection. If you do this, I think that in time you will feel empowered and good about yourself. The worst we can do to ourselves is not be what we want to be.

I don't have any friends what so ever. No one ever invites me out to lunch or a movie. I hope we can keep in touch

you are in the right place. people see me in the same way.

I have to say I have always found it is best not to be too close with the people you work with. If something goes wrong in your friendship you are stuck with having to see that person every day and things can build into something really unbearable from that. That is not to say you should avoid them outside of the workplace or not be friendLY, but not to get too confiding or too intimate.<br />
Also there is a big difference between "friends" and "acquaintances" and some people think they only have to know a person's name and they are their friend. I think a friend is someone who knows you well and likes you anway.

I've learned that if you're going to be a good person, you have to accept that most people will not mirror your intentions. In fact, people will more than likely overlook the good things you do.<br />
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Don't do nice things and expect favors to be returned. At the end of the day, you should do nice things to make you feel good about yourself. Don't depend on other people to praise or appreciate you.<br />
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The workplace thing is just awful. Good people are always the ones to get bashed. Bad people are not, because people don't want to mess with them.

I feel the same. I do nice things to others who don't reciprocate. Maybe those are the wrong people, which proves that the world is full of horrible people. My dad used to say if you make one friend in <br />
whole life, you are lucky.

I know how you feel. I used to do the same....favours for everyone, helped out anyone...but I've learned not to do that anymore. Most people just want to use you. Best advice my husband gave me, as I cried, was that maybe I expected too much from people. I realized that THAT was true. I thought that the favour would automatically be returned. WRONG. So I now have very little expectations of people. It keeps me from feeling hurt. I have changed my ways...and now only help those who really deserve it. <br />
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I've also learned that quality is better than quantity. The people on Facebook that have huge friend lists are only fooling themselves and pretentious. Noone could possibly have 1000 plus friends. Most of those people are not their friends....just people who are insecure - just like they are - that need to feel better about themselves.<br />
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Hang in there. <br />
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...and remember that the people that don't seek you out, it's their loss!!! <br />
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All the best!

Yes, I've learned that I gained more real love for people, and more peace, when I stopped expecting much from them. Now, my expectations are that they will mess up and not be perfect. That sounds depressing, but it isn't, actually. It is unconditional caring. it allowed my love for othersw to become more real and unconditional. One of the best attitude changes of my life.

it's hard to hang in there and also to "learn" not to expect. I am struggling everyday, i am always being told that i am liked, and it's all in my head that ppl just don't want anything to do with me, but the pure fact is: They don't!! good luck to everyone.xx

I know exactly how you feel your story sounds like my life.

i have similar issues with the favor not being returned. A friend was very right when he told me that I give so much, so freely, assuming that what I give out will be returned in some way. Turns out people began to just take my giving for granted, as if it were part of me instead of me extending myself in kindness to someone. I also resonate really strongly with what snowflakelashes said with regard to only being invited when everyone is being invited, instead of special invitation.

if you want to attract friends, i think you have to make an friendly atmosphere! <br />
Sometimes people just don't want to approach because they are either to scared or they think its not worth their time. If you're happy and show a smile a lot/ be yourslef, have fun and they'll want to be apart of that to. :)

Unfortunately not everyone feels the same way. I would definately say do things without expecting favors in return. I know that It hurts when sometimes people even reject the offer of favors, that they'd choose inconvenience over help from you. It is hard not to take it personally but even if you have great professional relationships with the people you work with you have to consider they may be busy etc and have full plates so they might not feel like they have time to make a friendship deeper. I tell myself this, I feel fairly liked at work except that no one wants to do anything outside of work with me. I use to be paranoid that I was unliked. But I just realise that sometimes you can connect with people on one level without expecting anything more from them. I don't really have any super close friends, I'm more of the 'fringe' girl. I get called when they are having 'everyone' over. But I'm not the one they invite when they are just having 'close' friends over. <br />
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Also I'm learning though that you do have to go after what you want. BUT you have to also accept that you can't always get it. So call people to say hey, or invite them for coffee, or try a new activity. I find the best friendships come from unexpected encounters. And they take work to maintain.

I'm torn. I want to be optimistic (though not my nature, particularly lately), different circumstances led me to lose all of the people in my life I considered friends (personality clashes that arose later). The one human on earth I felt was the closest to me other than my late mother turned on me when I decided not to let her move in with me when her landlord kicked her out of her apartment (after I gave her nearly $200+ buying groceries and taking her to the movies to cheer her up) to help her when her unemployment ran out. She would continue to leech off me and I decided I had had enough, haven't heard from her since. I find out later that she lied to about things. Don't get me started on the men.<br />
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The older I get I lose a little more faith in other human beings. I just stick with my family and computer, it just isn't worth the effort to be outgoing when people try to use you over and over. I don't think I'll ever open up to anyone, male or female ever again. People suck.

Can I offer some insight from the other side of this? I live in the middle of nowhere now, but I used to live in a suburb which was full of mothers with young children, as I was at the time. Everyone chatted on the street, at the park etc, it was a "friendly" atmosphere. Perhaps similar to the chattiness and friendliness in a place of work? There were two women who would come to my door sometimes for no obvious reason and it was fairly clear they just wanted to be asked in and to hang out. I made the mistake of allowing this. I had effectively given the signal of wanting a friendship with these people by being friendly towards them and making them welcome in my home.<br />
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However, we had nothing in common except having small children. In every other respect we might have come from different planets. But I couldn't shake them off without being unkind. What the heck do you do then? I'm afraid I'm just not nasty enough to say "You are not my type of person, get out and don't come back." I made all sorts of excuses to avoid social time with them, sometimes pretended to be out, which is a ridiculous thing to have to do. I never accepted invites back to their homes. <br />
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There was nothing wrong with these people. They just weren't people I wanted to spend time with. Fortunately we moved away, and that was that. <br />
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So what should I have done differently? I can't help being friendly. It's who I am. I'm not going to behave in an aloof stand-offish manner just avoid risk of aquiring "fans" I don't want. <br />
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And those women were doing what all the advice for making friends tells them to do, be bold, don't worry about risk of rejection, make the first move etc. ARGH.

Some people are just plain not worth your time and you can't please everyone. Be selective about who to help the next time, unless you're a naturally helpful person and don't expect a 'favour' to be returned if it's never asked for it in the first place. Also be cautious of the people at work because adults are way past their naive and innocent stage when they assumed that the world was simple and good, which is far from reality. Don't let your colleagues bring you down. You're unique and important!

I know exacly how you feel. I try to make friends, but as soon as they try to get to close, it scares me and I push them away.I'm an attractive 43 year old woman with real issues when it comes to "bonding" with people. I'm trying to hang in do the same. And remember.....Everything happens for a reason. Good luck to you

this is so true with me incase of guys, but with girls i think i repel the girls i like the most.
i cant find the reason for which everything happens