Time is our most valuable resource and it is a valuable resource that is given to us for free. Because it is free we tend to not value our time until it starts to run out. Time becomes a valuable resource at around age 50. This is when we realize time is running out.
One of the Rich Habits I found in my Rich Habits study was the habit of learning to say NO. Rich people, specifically self-made rich people, made a habit of saying NO to certain individuals. The rich learned, at some point during their wealth accumulation journey, that there are three groups of people who ask for help:
- Down & Out – Those who are reluctant to ask for help but truly need your help and
- Users – Those who are continuously looking for a handout but never reciprocate and
- Reciprocators – Those who look for opportunities to help first or repay the debt.
The Down and Out are individuals who have experienced random bad luck in life. These are individuals who would otherwise never ask for help. Life circumstances forced their hand.
Users are individuals who are self-centered and focused only on their needs. They don’t value your time. Their lives are usually a mess and they forged this nasty habit of continuously seeking favors from others. What makes them toxic is that they never reciprocate and pay off the debt of your services. They are like locusts and should be avoided at all costs.
Reciprocators are individuals who seek your help but, unlike the users, they value your time and feel compelled to reciprocate your kindness.
It’s often difficult to initially separate the Users from the Reciprocators. This is the fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me scenario. Users will seek out your help, never reciprocate and then come back to the well over and over again until you say NO. When you say NO, they discard you like yesterday’s trash and move on.
The Reciprocators, however, have two character traits.
- They are always there for you when you need their help or
- They never go back to the well before repaying the original debt – the help you provided to them the first time.
Avoid Users at all costs. Learn to say NO to them. They will use up your most valuable resource and never pay back their debts. Keep them out of your inner social circle. Always embrace the Reciprocators. They value your time and will always pay off their debt. Make Reciprocators permanent members of your inner social circle.
When you make a habit of saying NO, except to those truly in need, that is a Rich Habit. Users will disappear in your life. Reciprocators value your time and will be there when you need them.