I saw this article and I thought to myself … this is why I avoid Trinis in Toronto. People ask me all the time, “Yuh tink yuh is Vidya Naipaul”, or “How yuh is such a hater so?” or “Whappen, you think yuh better dan we now, or something since you traveling the world?” or the best so far, “Why don’t you like your own people?”. Sometimes, I think to myself, “Have these people met a Trinidadian? We can be schemish and two-timing and talk about people who like to gossip.”
This article in the Trinidad Express made me laugh and from a traveling perspective, it is something that I should look for in all the other cultures I see …
People too boldfaced: Kim Boodram :Saturday, March 13th 2010
I’m starting to fear being nice to people.
Because in no time at all, they want your soul.
Don’t some of us ever stop to think whether we’re asking too much of the people around us?
The second you show kindness to some people, or are too laid back with them, they just come out to take advantage of you.
Makes me understand why some of us are so cagey and reserved. Sure, we think people who keep to themselves are snobbish and rude. But maybe they are afraid, too. Afraid that as soon as they let their guard down the vampires will fall on them.
I really enjoy giving to and interacting with others but for some time now I have felt burdened by how much people want. They always want more. I can feel some of you nodding your heads.
If you’re like me you may also wonder how it is that people can be so bold-faced and so unashamedly greedy. And it happens repeatedly.
Being a little ray of sunshine, I am also generally polite. With people I see on a regular basis, this inadvertently evolves. Next thing you know, ’good morning’ turns into a short conversations.
One day not too long after, you make the mistake of asking how the person is doing and because they have been setting for you all this time, suddenly you get the whole story of their health, their family issues, their job issues… and you spend time listening and giving advice because, you do care. But in no time, they’ll ask you for something.
It usually starts with little favours, then bigger favours, then money.
You start to dread having to encounter this person because every time you do, it’s as though their eyes are hungrier than before.You swear one day they’ll calmly ask, ’Umm, lemme just borrow your soul, nah.’
How is it that some people are always so needy?
And when they don’t get everything they want from you, it means you are a bad person.
I feel it may be worse for people like me, who, because of a lack of husband and children, are perceived as having nothing to do with our time, money and energy.
People have actually asked me, ’But what you have to do so? You don’t have any children,’ after I’ve declined to do some favour or another. Those of you who feel the same way I do will also agree that when you give, you don’t really want anything in return.
But you don’t want to be sucked dry either and you can’t help but notice that if the odd occasion might arise where you need something, people are never able to help. You know why?
Because you’ve been suckered.
I feel this sort of thing will always happen to me to some degree because I am a born sap.This is despite the fact that I know that most of the people who hit me up always have more money in the bank than I do.
It took me a while but I’ve finally figured out that when they say they’ve run out of money, they mean they’ve run out of the spending money they set aside from their savings.
Now they want yours, while theirs sits safely in the bank.
Ever notice how those ’scrunting’ friends always seem to have stuff you don’t?
It’s because they spend your money on food and entertainment and their money on car, cellphone, clothes, jewelry, house savings etc.
I’m certain there are people reading this and shaking their heads in understanding but are the very perpetrators of whom we speak. If that’s you, take heed. Stop being so bold-faced.
There are a lot of people out there who genuinely need help and you’re taking that from them by scaring good folk. Sometimes we ask too much emotionally, as well, without realising how much we can tire others out. Some friends always have drama and always need an ear and advice. Exhausting! By the time you’re done dealing with everyone else’s problems, you don’t have the patience and energy to cope with your own.
Look, being nice is nice but enough is enough. There are too many people around me who want to let the inner nice out but are afraid they’ll regret it. The world needs more generosity and understanding, so let it out if you have it. You’ll probably get caught a few times until you learn. Unless you are hopeless like me.
Oh, and family, unfortunately, has special licence to squeeze you more than everybody else. If you like to take advantage of people, I feel you should take stock and admit it to yourself. Then you’ll probably feel embarrassed and slow it down.
You’ll probably also be surprised to see that suddenly, you’re receiving much more than you used to ask for.