Somebody on Twitter said this
I’m not about to get into the DUNKING this tweet received (and rightfully so) but it also started me thinking about the energy people invest in me.
Well, more like the word “invest” – that’s what I’m stuck on.
To invest means to expect a return on that investment, right? I think we often forgot that, and while I wouldn’t want to assume, the tweet’s substance seems to imply the nature of the request being very one-sided, and in forgetting that investment has an expectation, we sort of fail from the jump because we’re already being dishonest about what we want.
In the case of the writer, the idea is that an investment towards a solid, emotionally mature relationship would entirely hinge on the validation of their passion – a passion which might not be shared by the potential partner or shared in a different way. That sounds less to me like the writer’s desire to have an emotionally mature relationship but more of a desire to have a beta reader on retainer.
On the flip side, what’s the return on investment for the person who does decide to invest their energy on reading your work? What’s the benefit for them? Your success? Isn’t that to your benefit? If you’re busy writing, what part do you play in providing the energy towards something they would like you to do for them? Is it a parallel pursuit? Is this investment reciprocal?
I’m not going to pretend I have an answer because every relationship is different and everyone’s view on what they need from each others vs what they’re willing to give also varies. What I do realize is we need to examine how we approach our relationships and think hard on whether we’ve established their foundations entirely on the expectation of return on investment with no risk for us. It’s legitimately something creative types should be aware of since we’re often all up in our feelings and desperate for validation.
So strangely enough, this snippet of the writer’s thoughts, which I invested energy into, did provide a return. It got me to think about how I approach my professional and friendlier relationships and whether the give and take is mostly equivalent. It’s too easy to become a leech and to let others leech off of us. Social media makes it even worse. It amplifies our insecurities and anger; forces us to demand more of each other b/c validation – that energy from others – can be addictive.