Disclaimer: This article is written to help you defend yourself from bad people who do good things to gain your trust. It is not written in an effort to encourage you to be closed off to kindness.
You may have reasons for being private, to yourself, and generally distrusting of others. These traits could have been shaped by malicious people in your past. Now that you have developed a strong defense mechanism against malice, you should look further into how these types of people can find ways to hurt you and your close ones. Once bad people see that their target has built up a strong wall against malicious behavior and tactics, they will look to exploit facets of your personality which you haven’t yet focused on. A common tactic in doing so is to utilize favorable behavior to get closer to you and thereby do damage. People will see that you are a no-nonsense type of person and will try to find other angles to get you to be vulnerable to their attacks.
There will be people who do good just to do it, and others who will hide their true intentions behind good deeds. You shouldn’t automatically assume any unwarranted good deeds that others commit towards you are malicious. That is an unhealthy psychology on the subject to adopt. However, you should act in ways which do not put you in a position of vulnerability in the face of good deeds. Getting this right takes practice and an eye for balance. The goal of this article is to communicate the goal of balancing out the act of being thankful without being vulnerable to unexpected malicious attacks in the face of these pleasant feelings.
Reacting to Favors From Others
Favors are generally positive things, words, or actions, that others provide to you without you asking for them. An example of a favor is your coworker buying a coffee for you in the morning, or your gym buddy giving you a ride home after your workout. Most favors in life are just that, positive behaviors from others which increase your positive feelings about that person. People commit favors to increase self-satisfaction with themselves; they like themselves more when they do good deeds for others.
The tricky part in receiving favors from others is the difficulty in guessing whether or not someone can be using them to lower your guard. The coworker who buys you coffee in the morning may unexpectedly throw you under the bus during the team meeting later in the day. Do not discount the possibility of malicious behavior being masked by favors, be preventative in your approach of receiving favors from others.
Preventative measures include being thankful while also not swaying from your identity in the face of receiving these favors from others. You may be pressured to act nicer than usual, or more open to giving out personal details in the face of receiving favors. However, you should not change who you are at your core under favorable circumstances. Your words should be organized into thankful phrases, but be wary of letting people into your life in the face of a few favors that they do for you.
Your trust for others must be determined by long-standing knowledge about the person and general experience of being around them. Any unsolicited favors should not be taken into account when deciding the general trust-worthiness of a person. The key word is unsolicited in this case. Favors which you ask for are different in nature than those which are unsolicited in the fact that the person you’re asking favors from did not have a chance to plan malicious behavior prior to you asking.
Care in Rewarding Unsolicited Favors
Do not become a person who relishes in the face of receiving favors. You shouldn’t advertise the fact that you react favorably to people who are nice to you. Priming those with malicious intentions to act favorably toward you is what you want to avoid. Do not be reactive in the face of favors, in the same way that you shouldn’t be reactive in the face of malice from others. Take everything in stride, and say only what you need to say upon receiving unsolicited favors from others. The position they put you in is inherently a vulnerable one, and you should take that fact seriously even if there is not a malicious bone in their body.
Show others who may be planning on damaging you in any form that you are not reactive to favors, even from the ones who are inherently well intentioned. This is a rather sad fact of the matter at hand. People who genuinely try to do well by you may be put back by your lack of positive reaction, so balance your reaction in a way which is fulfilling for them as well as protective of your vulnerability.
Do not yearn or hope for unsolicited favors from others. Get into the mindset of working for everything that you receive, and be cautious of anything that you receive without putting the work in prior.