Recently met an old friend after a long time. He reminded me of an incident about 14 years back. This post is not about nostalgia…it is about building expectations. (the year 1996 to be precise)

You must have heard in many lectures or read in some philosophy books that building expectations is the worst thing a person can do. It leads to disappointment….well here is a real life case.

One girl at least a decade junior to us – maybe even 15 years junior to us had joined his office after doing a one-year MBA. It was her first job and his 3rd job and he became a mentor.  She learnt the job well did independent sales calls and was generally doing well. She was married to a rich Gujarati boy (she was also a Gujarati and it was a kind of arranged marriage) but was doing nothing with his life. He was supposed to be doing some business which was not doing well. So my friend called him and counselled him…and got him a decent entreprenurial kind of a job in the financial services industry.

Today she is well off (they always were rich but had little cash flow) with a good job, 2 kids in school….etc.

When my friend called her (about 3 years back and after a very long gap) she said..”please do not call”.  Her explanation was ‘her husband did not like anybody calling’ . The fact that my friend remembered it showed how much it hurt.

The hurt comes from the EXPECTATION that if you ‘help’ somebody (she may not even have seen it as help).

So if you do help, DO NOT expect a thanks. If you have expectations, DO NOT HELP -charge a fee or just shrug. Both are good tension free options. If you get paid you do not want a thanks (as long as the cheque goes through), if that person does not wish to pay, YOU KNOW your help is worthless to them.

Why offer? If you give something free, do not expect anything in return.

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  1. Dear Mr. Subra,

    I agree with you that we should help without expecting anything in return. But what ur friend has experienced seems to have become a universal phenomenon. Even though all of us know this internally, and have experienced such situations etc… most of us still fall into this trap. We may not be expecting anything material in return, but a simple acknowledgement of the help etc.. would suffice.

    What we can learn though is that when some one else helps us, we should at least say a “Thank you”.

  2. For me its a puzzle…….no offence…but why every one tries to help girls….No one ever offered to help me anytime,it is different story that if i go and seek help i get it…..but girls gets it voluntarily even without asking for it….
    If a girl could not start her kinetic motor bike after few kicks…four to five males around would rush to help her….if my motor bike do not start no one bothers to even have a look at me(again expectations but i am not a girl..LOL)
    In your story if your friend might have helped a boy the story could have been different….he would have never behaved in that manner…..

  3. subra,

    I will help others cause I am eligible to and God equipped me to do so. Period!!!

    @ Mr. Panjwani- No comments Sir.. 🙂

  4. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    @ M S Panjwani is very correct… These people were not “helping “the girl.. They were expecting something in return..

    @Subra.. Give value.. Take value.. Its a very ethical thing.. Ayn Rand

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