Paying For Free Things
Free is good, it’s not practical, but everyone likes getting something for nothing. It’s not how it works most of the time, but when we do get it, it gets taken for granted. An example, when I was in the 10th grade, a respiratory disease survivor was brought in to talk about his experience. He said the one thing that he missed the most while ill was the ability to breathe normally. After having that taken away from him, getting it back gave him a new sense of appreciation for it.
Getting back to the point, using breathing as an anchor point, something we are used to getting we don’t appreciate.
“That which we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly : it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” Thomas Paine
The Reward That Will Never Be
By that line of logic, if we have something and give it away freely, it will not be valued, at least not to the extent in which we want it to be. Such things in which are commonly lavished onto others are time, energy, money, attention. When other people are used to having you help them without having to do anything in return, they won’t pay it any heed and treat it (your time, attention, etc.) as one of their possessions, you are their slave.
And why is it that people are willing to give away what is valuable for free? The simple answer is that it is for the hope that there will be something in return. Whether it be attention, a favor, preferential treatment, something that they want. And they are doing all this in the hopes that they will get a reward.
Of course the other party will not want to relinquish this carrot and the reason is simple. When a person is used to getting something for nothing and are then suddenly asked to hand out a reward, they will do so resentfully and it will be an uneven exchange where the person that expected a reward receives very little in return.
That is the reward where by one becomes essentially a piggybank. What should be done instead of giving what you have away (and thereby making it easily accessible which is perceived as cheap) is to make it apparent from the get go to liken this interaction as a trade.
You have something the other person wants and you want something from that other person. Make it clear that if you are not going to get what you want, you will end the relationship and they won’t get what they want.
This is how you extract maximum value from the other person. Dangle a carrot and make them work for it.