There are people you’ll run into in your life who are scorekeepers. They keep score to keep track of who gets what. And while it might seem that they do so in order to keep things even, they’re actually more concerned with making certain they get their fair share.
Being a scorekeeper is constantly focusing on what others are getting that the scorekeeper is not. It might be attention, favors, money, gifts, referrals, opportunities or plum projects. Anything that can be bestowed on either the scorekeeper or another person is eligible for scorekeeping. “I did this for you now I expect you do this for me” is the (usually silent) mantra for scorekeepers. Doing things for others is all about keeping things in balance, not doing it out of genuine helpfulness or generosity.
So how do you deal with a scorekeeper?
One, just keep giving as you would normally give and pay no attention to the unfortunate attitude of scarcity that drives their behavior. Giving is joyful. But giving in order to get something back or giving as an obligation takes all the joy out of it. Anyone who has lost the opportunity to feel the real joy of giving needs all the kindness you can muster.
Two, if you can’t bear the passive aggressive mentality of a scorekeeper, move on. Not everyone is destined to have a long-lasting friendship or even interaction. It may take an epiphany for a scorekeeper to stop being a scorekeeper and you may not be the person that’s supposed to show them a better way.
Three, build your own emotional intelligence skills and change the trajectory of the relationship – even if the other person doesn’t change at all! It’s extremely empowering, powerful and you can find out more, here.