Seeing Potential in Someone Can Be Like a Drug

Seeing Potential in Someone

Seeing potential in someone can be like crack. It’s not physically addictive, but once we have a taste of it, sniff it, shoot it up, we enjoy that feeling and continue chasing that high.

There’s a saying amongst drug dealers, “The first one is free.” The premise is that you’ll like it and then be willing to pay for the next fix. The first one free is an advertising and marketing ploy. Seeing potential in someone and then realizing they’re not desiring to reach that potential is their way of saying, “The first one is free.” Meaning, “I’ll show you just enough to get you hooked on me, to motivate you to continue helping me and giving me what I want, while at the same time I’m content to remain as I am.”

What do we do when we realize the marketing ploy? I’ll speak for myself and share what I’ve learned.

  • I need to acknowledge what I’m actually seeing versus what I initially saw. I saw the potential and now I’m seeing the person has no intention of reaching, or even working toward fulfilling, that potential.
  • I need to understand the person has no intention of continuing to work on their expressed goals. Even though they’ve asked me to help them with things, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to do the work.
  • I need to accept that some people will talk a good talk while not walking the walk.
  • I need to not feel sad or bad that a person is refusing to change themselves for the better, even when that’s what they said they wanted to do.
  • I need to be satisfied with myself that I genuinely and sincerely tried to help the person and not allow their failure to commit to reflect my own dedication.
  • I need to be okay with letting go when the person isn’t doing what they promised to do.

The most important thing I’ve learned is to not put more effort into helping a person reach their goals than they are.

I look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences regarding putting effort and time into someone’s life when they didn’t reciprocate. Have you attempted to help a person and they seem to give up midway? How did you handle that situation? Has there been a time that you held on to a person hoping they live up to the potential you initially saw in them? How did it work out?

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