People have this tendency to want to get “even” with others when bad or negative things happen to them. This includes doing things for others you may not want to do where nothing is expected in return. You know, a “favor.”
Life is extremely unfair even though we want it to be fair. This causes us to try and equal out the playing field any chance we get. Examples are as follows;
Someone cuts you off, so you tailgate them or flip them off.
A company makes an honest mistake shipping you an incorrect/broken/no item, so you demand they compensate you somehow.
A friend asks you for some help, so you make a mental note to make sure to ask them for something in the future.
We’ve all experienced something like this at some point in our lives. Many of you probably do things like this on a regular basis.
Acting and thinking this way will decrease your level of happiness because again, life is extremely unfair even though we want it to be fair. By trying to make it fair and “right” all bad things that happen to you, you are engaging in a completely impossible task.
Something unfair will happen to you again.
By trying to make “even” the bad things that happen to you, you fixate on them even more. This will make the next unfair thing bother you more than the last. The more you focus on the negative, the less you focus on the positive, which reduces your happiness.
Happiness does in part require effort to avoid negativity.
If you feel like you need to get something back from the people around you if you do something for them, I suggest you stop doing things from them until you can figure out why you so desperately need them to match everything you do. Worrying about people reciprocating any good you do for them, means you are giving way too much control to other people over your own happiness. You become entirely reliant on their actions.
Either stop expecting people to do things in return for you, or stop doing things for them. Even worse is thinking of ways you can ask them to return favors to you.
“I did this so she can do that for me sometime in the future.”
Making a mental list of people who “owe” is again focusing on negativity. It’s negativity because you’re only making the list because you think the person might not do something for you in return. You think they will only do something for you if you did something for them. Which may speak to how you are as a person, perhaps you are the same way?
Instead, you need people around you that you can ask for help without even worrying about what you’ve done for them in the past.
With my closest friends, I can ask for anything and I never keep track of what they do for me because I don’t care.
So learn to stop trying to literally fight the toughest aspect of life, that its unfair, and you will be more happy.