The Big Mistake Men Make When Giving

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As a man, you will often be compelled or expected to give things to other people. From paying for dates to supporting their families, the male sex has a long history of giving – and that’s cool.

Generosity gives us satisfaction, creates social power and is attractive to women. It’s a selfless personality trait reserved for the best of men. Unfortunately, most guys suck at giving and repeatedly make the same mistake year in, year out.

If other people have ever let you down, disappointed you or responded to generosity with ingratitude, read on; all these things are the direct result of the big mistake men make when giving.

The Price of Expectation

When giving anything – time, money, energy – we often have ulterior motives. “I’ll take her out on a nice date so she puts out later.” “I’ll be nice to him because he can help me with work.”

Hell, one study even found that men are more generous around attractive women for a better shot at getting laid!

When you give like this, you create expectations of what you’ll get in return. And when some of them inevitably don’t pan out – when that guy doesn’t help you or that girl doesn’t sleep with you – you feel let down and hurt.

This is why so many relationships fail, too. We’ve all heard people say things like “I do this and that for him, but he never even…” – haven’t we? This is what happens when you give with ulterior motives: you set yourself up for pain.

Even worse, giving just to get something in return is manipulation in its purest form. As you come to expect and even need a certain outcome in return for the things you do, you become a demanding, needy manipulator.

Now think: is that the kind of person you want to be? Are neediness and manipulation attractive or healthy? No and no; being strong and independent is much better for you and the people around you.

So how can you overcome expectations and develop those traits?

Start Gifting

People often talk about “extending generosity to the needy” because those two concepts – generosity and neediness – are opposites. One state describes abundance, the other – absence.

Of course, generosity and neediness don’t just apply to money – they exist in all areas of life.

In social dynamics, being needy is the kiss of death. Few things are more repulsive than someone who needs you or your approval. You might sympathize with a beggar, but few will ask one to coffee – and this is true for emotional beggars, too.

Generosity is the opposite: an attractive, happy state. A man who shares freely and doesn’t care what anyone thinks or does in return is extremely attractive. Tim Tebow – a guy everyone loves for his ability to give freely – is a great example.

When you share freely and without reservation you’re destined to be happy because nobody can let you down or cheat you. Generosity makes you emotionally bulletproof – and is damn sexy to boot.

Here are the 2 fundamental rules of true generosity.

Rule 1 – Never Give What You Can’t Afford

Going back to dating, men will spend too much money on gifts and dates and feel disappointed if they get nothing in return. I’ve seen men spend up to hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time this way.

The solution is simple: never give what you can’t afford to. If an expensive date means spending 50% of your salary, don’t do it. If someone asks you to run an errand on a busy day, refuse. If you do, you’ll be tempted to expect something in return – and that’s toxic.

Don’t give people things you are not abundant in yourself, or at least don’t do it often. Set firm boundaries on what you are and aren’t willing to give. This way, your generosity will always be honest since you have nothing to lose if it isn’t reciprocated.

Rule 2 – When You Have Something To Give, Give Freely

When giving something you’re poor in, there’s a temptation to expect something in return or feel bitter about making sacrifices. But when you give something you are wealthy in, you are creating value for other people without losing anything. It’s a true win-win situation.

And since we’re all attracted to value creators and repulsed by value takers (i.e. needy people), being generous will make you incredibly attractive to those around you.

As an added benefit, when you only give what you have in abundance and expect nothing in return, you create your own emotional peace. You’ll never be let down, taken advantage of or otherwise hurt; you’ll never manipulate anyone or be manipulated yourself.

The question is, what do you have to give? I give my friends good conversation, positive energy and the occasional insightful advice. These are things anyone can give, but few choose to do so generously. Find what you have lots of – whether it’s money or smiles – and share it with the world. Alternatively, work on developing your value and share it with others.

Giving is one of the most wonderful things a man can do. Things go wrong, however, when we turn into needy manipulators by giving with expectations.

So stop expecting and start gifting. Have boundaries that stop you from sharing what you can’t afford to; find what you’re abundant in and share it freely. Everyone will love you for it.