There are so many unanswered questions I have. I really need answers to them but I don’t know who to ask. I don’t even know how to explain myself in the first place because these are questions that may look weird to some people. You can label them rhetorical questions but then, I will be glad to get answers.
One day, one of the questions got an answer.
I was so surprised and excited. I thought it was supposed to be a rhetorical question but I got an answer eventually and I will like to share with you what it is about. Thanks to the person who answered my question.
This person could actually read into my mind, went ahead to write a suitable answer in his book. I am so glad I read his book especially the few pages the actual answer was in.
Let us get straight into it because I am so sure it is something you will be excited to know about. Right?
It is a secret that can help you, and your business grow rapidly and it can also do the opposite if care is not taken – it is like a two-sharp-edged sword. Therefore, ignorance about it is not an option and you should be glad that I am sharing it with you for free. So, don’t be surprised if I put a price tag on it next time.
Here is the question! I will share it in form of a story because I want you to understand.
I have noticed that anytime a friend of mine helps me, I behave awkwardly around him – some of these friends are not really close friends. They are just friends that we get together because of a job or a course – at that moment. I will explain what I mean by awkwardly. Read on.
For instance, a particular night after I got back from work, I was stranded. I had spent my last cash on transport and I also didn’t have cash in the bank. How do I eat that night and how do I get to work the next day? I will most likely get enough money to sustain me as soon as I get to work the next day, so, that was not the problem. The problem was
How a starving man would eat that night and get to work the next day?
I started calling few of my close friends I could easily ask to lend me money but they couldn’t assist me. I had to go to one of my friend’s house close by – we aren’t close friends by the way. I went to his house and fortunately, he just finished cooking one of my best meal. He dished me a nice portion of it without even asking if I was interested. Well, I didn’t waste time before I pounced on it – I ate it to the last grain.
As soon as I started eating, the first part of my awkwardness began.
It is normal to observe table manners while eating, isn’t it?
But I don’t know the spirit inside me that night that was asking me to talk by all means. I was literally brainstorming for what to talk about, this I wouldn’t do on a normal day. Funny enough, I started a conversation – what I wouldn’t divulge – I was sharing some personal information with him.
I eventually asked him for the money I needed and he gave me immediately. Then, my awkwardness piled up. I continued to bring up more conversation. In short, it was when I left him that I asked myself why I was sharing unnecessary information just like that. I knew I was not supposed to share them with him but I did. Did you know why? Do you care to know why?
Why was I doing that?
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I was filling a gap that was created. It is called “Moral Gap”.
Whenever someone helps you, there is a moral gap that is created and all you will do automatically is to try fill up the gap. You will look for a way to balance the equation. I know you may not notice this until now but when next someone really helped you, pay attention to yourself.
Our human nature is designed to feel a need to pay back for a help in any way we can. That is how bribery works. When you receive a bribe, you try to fill the gap up by compromising your standard for that person who bribed you.
You can do anything to fill a moral gap up –anything! In as much you think it is equivalent to whatever the person has done for you.
What do you need from someone? Apply this principle to get it
- Are you a counselor or therapist? You will need this principle to get people to open up with you. First, try to open up a moral gap and see how they as well open up to you automatically
- Are you into business? Use this principle as well. If you help your customers beyond their expectation and it is obvious to them that you over-delivered on your promises; if they can testify that the amount they pay is nothing compared to the value you deliver, then you have succeeded in opening up a moral gap. You can use it to do anything you like with them one of which is to collect your tax from them.
But then, do you know that this principle can also break you?
Be very careful with how you treat moral gap so that you won’t go and open up what you shouldn’t even open up to that person. It is a common scenario. I’ll share a short story of how it affected best friends till date:
A true life story
Tayo went to see Jude at home one day. During the visit, he met with a lady who stayed in Jude’s street and got connected with her – Jude knows the lady but they don’t talk. Tayo and the lady got a little close through chatting on phone. Then one day, the lady came over – this time, it was the same street they first met, it was Jude’s apartment in the university. She needed a place to stay for a while around that location so she asked Tayo for help since she knew he was schooling around that area. But Tayo was staying a little bit far away from school. He spoke with Jude who was close by and he agreed. The lady was supposed to stay for some specified days but she spent extra. Jude was a caring guy who can pamper anyone who came in contact with him. He was also a very concerned person who was always eager to see others progress. That was his own moral gap opener. The lady caught it and started feeling a need to close the gap. To cut the long story short, she fell in love with Jude and it caused a rift between the two friends which led to their irreparable separation.
A moral gap can be a trap. It can be a temptation to compromise your standard. Use it wisely. Use it well!
Feel free to share your experience of what you have done with moral gaps in the comment section.