It can feel harsh to accept the common maxims you hear:
There is no free lunch.
Noone owes you anything.
Value for value.
However, if you observe these statements happening in reality with human nature, it can be extremely empowering for you personally. You are not spending all your time trying to change the world or insisting on something that is elusive at best.
Instead, you can be productive towards your goals and participating in an exchange. Appealing to someone’s self-interest is the first place to start. And that takes insight, empathy and caring. You have to figure out what another person truly values and deliver it in exchange for what you want.
It’s a much more fruitful use of your time and energy than insisting that people do what you want.
You might start the process with, “What do I want?”
Then you have to ask, “What do my customers or friends want?”
Lastly, get clear on, “How do we make a trade so they get what they want and I get what I want?”
Trade, don’t insist.