Storytime: So your sibling is going to have a baby shower. They have a list of items they want. They gave free-range but ask everyone not to give baby clothing. But you know what will be cute on your niece. So you buy her the clothes you want.
They thank you for your gift. But you quickly realize that you’ve seen one picture of your niece in the outfit you bought, but you never see it again. So you ask, and they are honest. They sold the clothing you bought.
Does the person who bought the clothing have the right to be mad?
No, they don’t. I know this might sound harsh, but we need to stop giving people things we want for ourselves. And then get mad when they don’t accept it as we would. Yes, if you have a baby you would love someone to give your baby what you received. But they aren’t you.
And now you feel wronged that they sold clothes they specifically said they didn’t want. There was a whole list of things you could have gotten. And if you were unsure, you could have gotten them a gift card or just given them money. But no. You knew what you wanted someone else’s child to wear.
Shouldn’t they be thankful?
Giving a gift is a nice gesture. When it isn’t tied to disrespect. They would have preferred nothing, rather than knowing that you don’t care to respect their wishes.
Let me describe this differently.
Let’s say it’s your birthday and you have a list of things you would like. You ask no one to buy clothes. Your birthday comes around, and I buy you an outfit. You thank me, but you hate it.
It’s my style, not yours. Yes, I do know our styles are different, but I’m going to buy want I want you to have. You realize that although it’s very expensive, you’ll never wear it. But you love me. We’ve been friends forever. So you invite me to dinner, and you wear this dress you hate for me. Then you sell it.
A year later, I ask you about it. You’re honest, and say you sold it. Would I have the right to be angry after I disregarded your wishes and bought you something that you didn’t want?
I think we all know the answer.
It’s just baby clothes.
No, it’s just you being disrespectful and inconsiderate, and it’s a slippery slope. If I can’t trust you to respect such a simple request, how can I trust you with doing the bigger things? At what point will you draw the line at respecting what I ask of you? Maybe you’ll give my baby candy and soda before I’m ready for them to try that.
Because it’s just, candy right?
Just clothes, just sugar, just hanging out with a boy? You don’t get to tell someone what’s serious to them. When it comes to their life or their child.
Respecting people and their wishes is how you gain trust. I don’t trust people just because they’re family. I trust those who every day show me they are deserving of the trust I put in them.