No strings attached

“After all I’ve done for you” is something we say in the heat of the moment. And of course, it is a poor argument, a petty way to make the other feel guilty for something they have done.

Giving is not measurable and should never be treated like putting money in the bank. It’s not a transaction, something you can withdraw at some point in time, and expect to have it untouched.

When we give advice, support, help, time, energy, suggestion, even a gift, we could do it unconditionally. No strings attached. Giving is already making us feel good, there is no need to add a possible future reward to the mix.

So, instead of “after all I’ve done for you”, we could attempt to get better in touch with our feelings and explain more in details what is wrong.

“I have seen you do this, and it does not make me feel alright.”
“I am angry, because this came unexpected.”
“I am sad, as you have done something you know I generally do not support.”
“I demand honesty from our relationship, and the fact you are lying now really hurts me.”

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