What Is Your Relationship ROI?
Recently I was a part of a discussion that centered on what people wanted as well as what people were willing to accept and give. It was based upon the notion that not everyone really knows what they want, but that those that actually do know are sometimes jaded due to past experiences in which they came out the lesser. It was a very telling conversation and indeed one that I learned just as much as the next person.
While taking part in this discussion the one glaring thing that continued to come up was how much a person had put into previous relationships only to see them fail. So from that, I began to wonder; just how many of us know what the Return on Investment (ROI) is for our relationships.
In Corporate America, a retun on investment basically happens when someone invests money, resources, etc. into something with the anticipation that by investing a greater profit will come to the investor. If there is no real profitable return on the investment, usually corporations do not make the commitment. Imagine how simple that sounds. However, in our personal lives, things are never as simple as they are in our professional lives. But let’s discuss this ROI.
If you KNEW before you got into a relationship with someone that the potential ROI was very low and there was not a great deal of profit to come from it, would you still make the commitment? I am sure many of you are saying no, but the truth is, some of you are saying yes. There is no right nor wrong answer to the question. I am simply giving you something to think about. You see, in this world, there are two types of folks: takers and givers. I confess to having been a giver for the majority of my adult life and then masking it by saying I spoil people. Of course I spoil people. Who would not want someone else taking care of everything and paying for most things? The problem is that when we continue to give, someone else is continuing to take and their desires to take become larger and more unrealistic. For example, it is quite okay for me to take you out to eat at a nice restaurant regularly, but if you cannot take me out to a nice restaurant occasionally, then the entire equation is off. Here is another example: If on your birthday I am buying you a $200 gift because that is what you wanted, I should be able to request a $200 gift because that is what I wanted. Double standards have no place in a return on investment situation.
Here is the deal; if you keep giving and giving and someone else keeps taking and taking, at some point you will have nothing else to give but they are still going to be asking for more. So stop feeding the monster now because at some point, that cub is going to become a full grown lion and you will not be able to keep it in your backyard.
A good rule of thumb is this; if you are not feeling fulfilled and you are not feeling appreciated based upon the effort you make and the effort made towards you, then you are probably getting a very low ROI. At that moment, you need to re-evaluate whether you want to stay put or move on. I cannot tell you which way to go. What I can tell you though is that you are going to have to risk something in order to get a bigger reward. What it is that you risk, is your decision.