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  • Writer's pictureRyan Luby

The 50/50 Delusion

In all relationships there is a give and take, right.

How do you quantify this?


Ehh. maybe 70/30.

It can’t be 90/10!!


It’s 100/0

If you want great relationships expect to give 100% and do not expect anything in return.

If you can do this without expectation for anything in return, and without feelings of resentment or entitlement you will improve any relationship you want to, immediately.

It isn’t because a relationship should be one-sided, it’s because you have no control over what someone else does. So giving 100% and expect nothing back does a few things to improve your relationships.


It will show you very quickly what relationships are not worth your energy.

When you are giving 100%, you still should not expect anything back.. But at the same time a relationship where you give 100% and the other person is being rude, greedy, disrespectful of you and your time it will not take long before you realize this a relationship where you either need to have an honest discussion or one you just need to move on all together.


You switch your expectations of everyone to appreciation.

If you think you can give 100% and still walk around with expectations of what others should do, how they should act, talk etc… this is a recipe for disaster.

You need to learn to give 100% and anytime you feel you have expectations review in your head, or in your journal 2-3 things you appreciate about whoever or whatever you had expectations for.

I mean it. Even if it’s a matter of you being nice and holding the door for someone and they give you a nasty look, or someone yells at you or whatever… work to find something to appreciate in each person.

They don’t owe you anything no matter how much you give. So just work to appreciate their honesty, and move on.

Trade your expectations, for appreciation.


You might be thinking, “but seriously what about me? How can I go around giving everything and never expecting anything in return?”

First off, you do it because it works, who likes the person who always has a hidden motive, and always is looking for something from you?

That’s annoying and we usually want to do the opposite of whatever they want, but the person who gives everything and never asks for help… we tend to gravitate toward wanting to give back and help that person, don’t we?

Or think about relationships you have now. You’re probably thinking about this whole 100/0 thing like, yea… try being married, or having a relationship for more than 10 years.

But think about your strategy at the beginning of any great relationship.

In the beginning it’s naturally 100/0.

You give everything, you don’t expect anything back and you appreciate everything you can find about the person.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or a partner. In the beginning we will be proactive dishwashers, hold the door, clean the house, cook dinner, we’ll greet each other with happiness and appreciation each time.. And a funny thing happens.

We have a good relationship.

But over time what happens.

We start trading appreciation for expectation.

Someone asks if you could help grab a bag and what do you think?

“Ohhh my goodness I have to do everything!! What am I your slave?!”

Sounds like you made some bad trades, changing from appreciating to expecting.

Maybe three years in we’re already at an ugly 40/60 split. (we give 40% and expect 60% in return)

Where will you be in 10 years? 20 years?

Odds are if you keep trading appreciation for expectation you’ll be at the end of a relationship saying,.

“Things used to be so nice, I don’t know what happened.”

What if you acted like you did at the beginning of the relationship?

Give 100%, expect nothing in return and always appreciate the other person?

Again, a funny thing happens and you have a great relationship.

And because we changed our approach to the right one, the other person starts giving back more as well.

It’s only when we expect, and want things that we don’t get them.

It’s when we can not appreciate anything and we keep expecting others to do more for us, that is a recipe for any relationship to be horrible.

Give everything, appreciate everything, and expect nothing…

Your relationships and your life will be better for it.

Learn more on this:

Book: Give and Take

Video: Ted talk - Are you a giver or a taker

Video: Expectation to Appreciation

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