Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You Shouldn't Keep Score

There are plenty of times to keep score; in baseball, in Monopoly, when bowling, and when playing cards. Basically anytime you find yourself in a competition where there's meant to be a winner. But there are other times in life when we should NEVER keep score; in relationships and real life situations. For example, I know people who have kept a log; a list of every gift they've ever given. If they gave a relative's child a certain monetary amount for their wedding, they expect them to give the same amount back to their child when they get married. The only problem is (actually there are many problems with this) that if an aunt brought her 3 kids to your wedding in 1982 it's unrealistic to expect to give the same amount 15+ years later to one of their kids. There is a thing called 'inflation'. Goodness knows the catering halls have heard of it. The current price per person for dinner is wayyy higher than it was even a decade ago.

Generosity is something that should always come from the heart. It should be genuine. You should never give a gift because you are expecting something in return. Some people never keep track. Others always keep track. I suppose it's whatever works for you (and your conscience). It's natural to want to reciprocate the best you can, but once in a while you'll get a gift that is out of the blue and completely unexpected. A generous gift can sometimes overwhelm the recipient. Not everyone is going to be in the same place; financially or even with the level they are organized.

Reciprocate when you can, if you can and if you want - but NEVER feel pressured. Often the key is simply to set guidelines; especially when it comes to family birthdays, holidays, and graduations. Families grow and so do responsibilities. If it bothers you that everything should be even, then sit down with people and create guidelines that everyone can agree on. There's no reason for anyone to feel uncomfortable or awkward. Being on the same page and having open communication can easily eliminate stressful situations.

How do you handle your scorecard? Are you into keeping score?

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