FOWC with Fandango — Grateful

I’ve heard this aphorism many times and it has always been ascribed to Oscar Wilde. But Wilde didn’t say it and in fact, no one lays claim to it.

Nonetheless, it’s true. For reasons beyond my grasp, no one seems to hate you more than the people to whom you have done favors, especially when you weren’t even asked. Gratitude seems to be the one emotion human beings can’t find in their emotional bucket.

For many people, where gratitude would be the logical response to a kindness extended for no better reason than friendship or love, the recipient, unable to respond in kind, grows bitter, angry and comes up with a thousand reasons why you really did it. You were jealous and were thus proving yourself the better person. You were backstabbing your “friend” by making them look needy (never mind that they were needy). You were making yourselves look good while making them look bad. And that’s merely the beginning.

Flocks of Goldfinch

And this is how, by being kind and supportive, you wind up with an enemy for whom you were nothing but gracious.

I’ve had it happen several times, though most of the people apologized eventually and admitted they behaved badly. I just don’t know why people act like that. It baffles me. I am, if anything, overly grateful for kindness extended and often almost shocked. It is so rare.

Gratitude is the rarest of friendly interactions, so don’t be shocked when you do your bestie a favor and you get anger and bitterness in return. It makes no sense, but it’s such a common response.

People aren’t logical or sensible.

And now, some classic quotes from Oscar Wilde. Some of these you probably already know. Others you may not know or have attributed to others.

This is the stuff of which memes on Facebook are made!

Categories: #FOWC, Daily Prompt, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Friendship, Marilyn Armstrong, Quotation

Tags: , , , , ,

41 replies

  1. I think it is either what Judy suggests, that people feel obligated to the person who did them a favour and that makes them feel guilty and angry or they are just truly selfish and think they deserve whatever they are given and are not obliged to be grateful. Either way, it just makes the giver feel hurt and puzzled.


  2. There may be, at some level, the sense that you are patronizing them (not that you are, but it could be their perception) and looked at it that way, they feel guilty for being patronized and then angry for feeling guilty, and then remorseful because they couldn’t possibly repay you in kind, so they don’t. And off they go one Saturday morning, stuffed to the rafters with your meals, kindnesses, and whatever they could stow away in the luggage…

    note to self: say thank you, this was lovely, and mean it. And return the damn favor.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No good deed goes unpunished.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How right you are. I often wonder why people react like they do when all I am trying to do something nice for them. Now I know. Wonderful quotes from OW

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This really hurts! I have complimented a woman out of my house after her staying for TEN MONTHS with us, w/o ever paying anything at all, using all and everything which belongs to us, no thank you, no gratefulness, not a single offer of letting me have her car for some shopping, no flowers, no little gestures, nada, nothing. When I pressed her on the 3rd of July with regards of ‘are you looking after my garden and house when I’m away’ she said with a surprised voice: But no, I’m going to the family holiday house of my ex, the father of my daughter and she & me will spend two weeks all on our own, just her and me….. I said: But hey, I counted on your being present. She: No, I have now two months of hols, but I might be back in September. And me, with a firm voice and to my own greatest surprise: No, you won’t! If you leave now, you are not coming back. I’ve had it!!!!
    The same evening she didn’t return to our house for her dinner (always taken from my freezer, always and every evening for 10 months using the microwave for 10-20 minutes (longer than I’ve used it in 10 years of my life!), she sent a message: Am eating at my parents place and come back later.
    The next morning, her last school day as a teacher, she left with all her stuff and my bottle of shower gel (a nice brand), leaving her bed with all the bedding, all the towels, took her stuff from the fridge, except ONE perished kiwi, but taking all her other fruits…. no sign, no thanks, no nothing! I shall greatly enjoy throwing out the leftover frozen meal stuff from my freezer next week. I can’t understand it – she got nothing but kindness, generosity, advice to help her in her unfortunate situation – and my ‘understanding’ is exactly what you wrote: She can’t admit being helped, although she doesn’t hate me – ain’t I so lucky 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t understand it either, but I’ve experienced it quite a few times and it always leaves me hurt and puzzled. More hurt than puzzled, but still — I don’t GET it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • WOW! Kindness is a double edged sword.

      It’s hard to believe that this person was totally unaware of the gift she was being given.., and more so, that she didn’t even extend the smallest expression of a “thank you?” She just moved on to the next victim.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I too have had an experience like this. This woman (the mother of one of my son’s best friends) would get evicted for not paying rent, come to stay with us (or some other nice fool) and extend that stay into many months. She was a little bit grateful – making silly, weird little “gifts” for me – but she also had her son and her dog with her. I didn’t mind the son – only that she felt she had the right to stay also – but the dog was completely untrained and spoiled rotten. Not only did he pee on the floor but he would jump up to the table and gulp down whatever food was on our plates when we weren’t paying attention. Finally, we kicked her out but she showed no gratitude after that and in fact, disappeared from our lives. (No hardship there!) Fortunately, her son got away from her and he has also never heard from her since. Go figure!

      Liked by 1 person

      • What’s most weirdest is how WE don’t learn. We seem t need to do it any number of times before we “get” it. I’m always sure the next one will be better.


        • We do it because, down deep, we know it’s the right thing to do. And, yes, sometimes we get hurt, but helping someone can be a rewardless act, I know from personal experience. I approach this stuff by expecting nothing in return and it frees me from the stress of waiting. Even though we, as you say, “get it” after many times.., we’ll probably do it again.

          Liked by 1 person

      • The woman in ‘my story’ is now on hols with her daughter for 2 weeks, I haven’t heard or seen a sign of her and very much doubt I ever will. I have put it behind me; and yes, I would help somebody else again and again. HeroHusband says it’s a bad case of a heart too soft but there ARE people out there we can help and we should. I’m simply much less surprised that she is already ‘3 men in’ and I feel that it might eventually have had something to do with her and not only with ‘him/them’….

        Liked by 1 person


  1. IN THE SPIRIT OF DOING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING … Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

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