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If You Want To Get Help From Others Easily, Remember To Avoid This Mistake

If You Want To Get Help From Others Easily, Remember To Avoid This Mistake

Remember that last move you had? You know, the one in which you asked friends for help and offered them $20 to help move that huge sectional couch of yours? Well, I am here to tell you that we should stop doing that. You would think in our society in which we wish to help each other that it would be a benefit to compensate for our time and energy. So, let’s explore why it’s such a bad idea.

Devaluing the Relationship

Believe it or not, plenty of people feel like their sense of worth comes into play when someone wishes to compensate them for a favor. They begin to question whether they are being paid enough. And let’s be honest here, a large portion of us don’t feel we earn what we are worth income-wise. It also is a potential detraction in the relationship, that one must get something out of the other person for doing a favor. Selfless acts amongst family, friends, and partners are one of the cornerstones of building a healthy relationship. We show each other love by being there in times of need, without any expectation of something in return.

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Research has also shown that people are motivated to do things socially rather than for financial gain. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely conducted a study amongst his college-aged students, posing a scenario in which students could take $10 to move a couch or do it as a favor. Overwhelmingly, he found that most chose to do it as a favor. The thought process began to unravel the motives of payment. Were they worth just $10 for their time and effort? Were they being underpaid? Is it worth the time and effort?

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Building a Reputation

For many people, they do favors because of the benefits of being known as a kind and generous individual. For small businesses, the fact that they are engaged in their community is one of the best things in the world. One of our local ice cream shops is well-known for being very supportive of the community. They often host small local bands and many fundraisers for homeless shelters and animal sanctuaries. The owner even participates in an annual fundraiser walk for a local rape crisis center. Because of the reputation that they have built around being so supportive, their business continuously grows. As humans, we tend to support those businesses owned by supportive people.

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Pay it Forward

Plenty of people employ acts of paying it forward. For some, it’s just because it feels good to know they have done a good deed for another person. Studies show that people who engage in helping others with favors have a better sense of self and well-being. And how about folks who have suffered themselves? Many people who have come out of very trying times (losing a job, losing a home, etc.) also are more likely to give back after experiencing the love and kindness of others who helped them get back on their feet. Many non-profit organizations are built up around this very idea. When we experience love and kindness, it’s only natural to want to share it.

Pay Me the Money

Some of you will read this and argue that you wish to be compensated. To explore why that may be, I took to my personal Facebook account and asked if people would rather do the favor without compensation or with. The voting system I created indicated that all who voted would do the favor without compensation (at the time I am writing this). In the comments, it got more interesting. The comments reflected a split in which some people did advocate for some compensation, while others didn’t. My friend Gray had this to say, “It depends. I’ve been poor a long time and occasionally the financial burden of a favor requires compensation. I try not to, though.”

And another offered up the opinion that he likes to compensate people who he knows needs the money. It is certainly acceptable and appropriate to help financially when we can as a loving and kind act in these situations. Expressions of love and kindness come in many forms and doing favors is just one of them. However, while I am advocating that we stop compensating each other for acts of love and kindness, it’s important to avoid becoming a doormat. Many people don’t want to be used. Healthy relationships are ones where favors are exchanged and people are supporting each other, rather than one individual providing all of the support all the time.

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Angela Kunschmann

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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