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Aunty Bella: Mrs. Burnt Giver

BellaNaija.com

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Aunty Bella is our agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice as well.

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Ok I need to vent. Vent, because I really hate when I seem to come across Nigerians that believe because I give it is become an entitlement. Okay, so sometime ago, a former colleague had demanded, yes actually demanded a gift for his baby. I was planning giving him something,  but when he decided to start demanding I decided he was getting nada! Dude even came back a year later after baby was one year old to ask again. Like for real?  He said I claimed I give good gifts so he is expecting something from me.

Well, very recently another incident happened this time with my hair dresser.So I love cooking and baking and if I may say so myself I do both of them well. I usually post pictures of some of my food on Whatsapp and since she is one of my contacts and sees them. She is constantly commenting about my food any time I go to get my hair done and even going as far as inviting herself to my house.

Anyway, I decided to take dessert to her since I was going to her after thanksgiving, so when I made dessert for thanksgiving and made enough to take her some. Only for me to get there and give her the dessert and she told me and I quote “Next time I don’t want ice cream I want real food”. My inner man sparkled (not in a good way) Mind you, I took this girl a homemade snicker’s pie. This dessert is an absolute labor of love as the entire process takes about 4 days. Granted, I was making some for thanksgiving and for my husband’s work get together, but the whole point is I thought of her. But it was not enough, I guess. For this lady I have decided this is the last time I am taking her anything.

But I am like ok what is wrong with our people? My negative experiences with giving has always been with our fellow country men and women. I give for selfish reasons, i.e I get genuine pleasure for figuring out what someone wants/needs and just knowing the joy they will get from it. It does something for me that I can’t explain but all these people are taking away the joy; and come to think of it, the people that I have had this experiences with have not given me a dime. Not once has my hair dresser given me a discount on my hair, although I tip every single time.

I know I am venting but maybe there is something I need to do, not discourage people like this. Any thoughts?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Nickolay Stanev

22 Comments

  1. Laila

    December 18, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Well if you go about singing about being a good giver, what do you expect? Your colleague actually quoted you when he said you claim you give good gifts??? Bragging already detracts from the joy of giving so maybe you are just attracting like quality of takers……the selfish kind.

  2. lorenz

    December 18, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Keep giving. Like you said in your write up, it makes you happy. Its not about those you give, its about you.

  3. Miss T

    December 18, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Hmmmm i totally understand where ur coming from, it can be very i mean very very annoying wen u take ur time to do something u think should be special for som1 nd they just take it for granted nd even make u look stupid……… my own wahala is with those people that u give something nd they keep coming back every single time like u owe them or something, that’s how they dint pay us for 3 months yet my colleague keep asking me to dash her money not borrow oo, dash nd i gave her every time until i got tired nd asked her where she think i get my own money from? as if she no know say dem no pay me too. ANYWAY IF UR A GIVER THEN DONT STOP FOR ANY REASON AT ALL.

    • Riam

      December 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      This is happening to me too, I was asking my self what are these people thinking, that I have more than them or what, they keep asking, I even think may be they are taking advantage of me may be because Um not Nigerian, it’s real annoying, mind you I don’t know these pep much, I just give them to establish good relationship with them, there is one, she has gone far that whenever she sees me, she is asking if I have something for her, sometime I even feels bad, but I told myself Um not gonna entertain them, I will give when I want not when everytime they want

  4. Zeeebby

    December 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I feel you my sister, it is soooooo annoying.
    That said, here are some facts,

    1. IF YOU ARE VERY GENEROUS, YOU ARE AN “APA” (WASTEFUL PERSON), PEOPLE WILL TAKE YOUR GIVING FOR GRANTED, THEY WOULD EVEN BECOME ANGRY AND GOSSIP ABOUT YOU THE FIRST TIME YOU DON’T GIVE

    2. IF YOU ARE A HELPFUL PERSON, YOU WILL BECOME EVERYBODY’S MAID. THEY WILL NOT APPRECIATE YOUR HELP

    3. IF YOU ARE POLITE, PEOPLE SEE YOU AS FOOLISH AND THEY WOULD ALWAYS WANT TO TO TRAMPLE ON YOU.

    4. IF YOU ARE POLITE TO THE OPPOSITE SEX, THEY THINK YOU ARE FLIRTING

    5. IF YOU SAY SORRY, THEY ASSUME YOU ARE WEAK

    For me, I don’t care what people think. I always strive to do good for others. I dnt let past experiences deter me BUT THE MOMENT I REALISE SOMEONE IS TAKING MY GOOD FOR GRANTED, I STOP IMMEDIATELY AND FINd SOMEONE ELSE TO SHOWER WITH MY LOVE, SMILES AND KINDNESS WHILE HOPING THEY APPRECIATE IT AND DO THE SAME FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

    • RIFF RAFF

      December 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

      When u give to the same people over and over again, they become spoilt and entitled.. GIVE TO THOSE WHO GENUINELT DO NOT HAVE, NOT TO THOSE WHO SELFISHLY WANNA EXPLOIT YOU WITH PITY STORIES.
      DO NOT GIVE THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES OR TO THOSE WHO ARE TOO INDISCIPLINED WITH THE LITTLE THEY HAVE
      And please NEVER make a promise to give. Suppose something unexpected happens and u are not in a position to fulfill your promise? Give when u have or when u can / u want to, but i repeat, NO PROMISES;
      Can i make a suggestion?
      If u have that giving tendecy, give to people u do not really know personally,
      For example, go to an orphanage or motherless home, donate anonymously and dissappear; Cook a great meal and offer it to that destitute family in one neighbourhood of your choice, then vanish .Buy a few books for that little child whose parents are too broke to afford it. Make sure they know nothing about u nor try to contact u. and do the dissappearing act once again. Don’t tell anyone.
      It will make u feel more fulfilled combined with the receivers’ appreciatioN; Plus,they won’t be able to trace u if u do not want to be found by them.
      VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL: Don’t tell anyone; Absolutely no one. Keep your giving business to yourself and your God.
      The problem with most of our close relations is that they tend to get entitlement issues cos they see u like a potential cash-cow. from whom everyone wants to chop.
      Put a stop to it right now and do not flinch; don’t be suprised if their attitude changes. At least u’ll realize why they hung on you all this while.
      People should always remember this:
      ETERNAL RECEIVERS, BLESSEES,CONSUMERS NEVER PROGRESS , THEY ALWAYS REMAIN ETERNAL BEGGARS AND LACKERS. THE HAND THAT GIVES IS THE HAND THAT HOLDS POWER, IT IS THAT HAND THAT COMMANDS.
      Keep on fattening your heavenly bank account and seasons greetings to u.

    • Honeycrown

      December 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      @ Riff Raff, Yesssssss

  5. joji

    December 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

    @Zeeeby And tell me you don’t get burnt each time that happens. I just act unattached so when I finally do good it would be as inspiring as I hope it would. Gone are the days you do good and later hear tales of how the recipients went ahead to do the same.

  6. bruno

    December 18, 2015 at 10:25 am

    mother Theresa disease. always want to give, always want to help. goody goody behaviour. I use to have it but now I am shedding it off. Incase nobody has told u, let me tell u now, this is a very bad behaviour. over giving. always being kind always being polite etc. its a bad behaviour. this world is a very bad place and people will eat u alive for being a good person.

    there’s zero reward in doing good in naija, trust me. u are not feeding me or giving me money etc so why should I be kind to u or help u. I dont owe u shit.

    now, I only help or give to people, when I know I will get something in return.

    i always regret when I think of all people who have trampled on me for being kind and polite and generous and caring.

    my advice to u, STOP GIVING. some of us who suffer from this mother Theresa disease, we give so much that we forget about giving to ourselves. we forget about ourselves. we love other people so much that we forget to love ourselves.

    pls instead of showering gifts on ungrateful wicked people , shower gifts on ur self. go out and buy ur self something nice and very expensive.

    love urself, treat ur self.

    • nene

      December 18, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      gbam

  7. Tosin

    December 18, 2015 at 10:39 am

    i know how you feel: both the need to give, the pleasure derived from it, and the way poor manners and gauche neighbours spoil everything.
    Naija, funny enough, would love you if you’d just overprice and sell the same things 🙂 I think.

  8. Exotique

    December 18, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Giving. I understand dear Poster. You give and people begin to expect. Develop this amazing sense of entitlement. All the while giving back nothing. Now I give only when I am ‘moved by the spirit”. Lol. And also to reciprocate. When giving is one-sided e get as e be …….

  9. Anne

    December 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I wouldn’t take the advice about no giving. Charity pays.

  10. kokoqueen

    December 18, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Givers never lack; beggars always ask!!! Madam, Stop driving flies from your poo. You ain’t a genuine giver. Real givers give and move on. I see you as,a stingy person. Truth is you give for your own betterment cos there is a blessing attached anytime u give. Just mere material stuffs and u r complaining. My friend happily gave her kidney. Instead of nagging, thank God for giving you an opportunity to give…..

  11. Aanuolutomiwa

    December 18, 2015 at 11:27 am

    as much as i love to give,once i see you are taking advantage of me i just stop it……..a lady in my office said i should buy tea for her and believe me she bought bread from my money again, thats human being for u jare,but nevertheless don’t stop doing good

  12. tolu.

    December 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Unnecessary rant. You must be the type that wants people to sing your praise over and over again when you give…like you want them to thank you for like a year. Ojuaye.

  13. lola Carey

    December 18, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Poster,i think you are not a giver deep down. When you give it is God who will repay u back through another means or fellow not neccesarily the same person you gave to. Learn to be a cheerful giver!

  14. mz_danielz

    December 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Give it will come back to you, good measure…… shall GOD cause men to give to your bosom.
    When you give dear, give as unto God and move on, When people give genuinely and not because they are coerced or expect thanks, there will be no hard feelings.

    That said, some of us need to learn to appreciate people

  15. nene

    December 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Honey just be yourself. Nigerians don’t appreciate things. if you feel like giving, give, and if i was you, i would take back my dessert and tell her to wait for another imaginary things. arrant rubbish.

  16. Abby

    December 18, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Giving! interesting topic. It is a great gift to have and even greater when you expect nothing in return from anyone you give to. However, some people just take it for granted and over step their boundaries by asking for too much or feeling entitled. This is where you draw the line. You can’t control their nature of constantly asking for things or taking things from you but you can control yourself by saying NO when they ask. Saying no is healthy. It does wonders to relationships and even puts the taker in their place and they will respect you and the things you own. They might get upset when you say no but it will help them think twice before they come back and ask you for something in the future.

  17. Blueberry

    December 19, 2015 at 8:11 am

    First of all, never make a show when you give. You only attract the wrong “Takers ” when you do. Same thing with helping. Sometimes however, this may be inevitable such that those who benefited something from you, go and tell it on the mountain. Attracting more “takers “. If this is the case, focus your giving and help on needy strangers more. Believe me if you look closely, you will See them.
    I have experienced similar cases with friends who thought they were entitled to my gifts and help. I just stopped. And when they asked why i had stopped, I was just straight-forward and honest to them. One of them took a clear distance from me, and the other was grateful that i told her. She and i are still good Friends.
    There trully is more joy in giving, and helping.

  18. Aviela

    January 19, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Ermmmm….why do you think we really need to hear about you being a giver ?If you really were one,you wouldn’t be venting here,i suggest you think about the real reason why you give in the first place,this whole write up is in poor taste.

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