I’m Not Your Jumper Cable

Mouth to Mouth ResuscitationWhether it’s a professional network, or your friends, or your family for that matter…you need to stop treating them like human jumper cables, only to be pulled out in the case of an emergency.

Every day I receive requests for assistance of some kind. An introduction to someone, some free advice, an investment, a request to tweet something, whatever. I am always happy to do this where it makes sense, unless I feel like I’m being treated like your jumper cables.

Being stored away in your trunk, gathering dust while awaiting that one moment where I might somehow benefit you isn’t exactly what I call a relationship. I also don’t want you pulling out those jumper cables (me) when you can help someone else with *their* emergency.

Ask my friends, I’ll do anything for them. But I can count those people on two hands. If you’re not one of those people then I’m probably going to expect something in return. At the very least I’m going to expect you to understand and not get your feelings hurt if I decline your request.

There are friendships, and there are transactions. I’m open to both, but social media seems to have confused a lot of people about what type of relationship it is that they really have with people.

Your friendly neighborhood jumper cable,

Matt Ridings - @techguerilla


image via  Mr. T in DC 
  • http://www.rizzotees.com/ Chris @ Rizzo Tees

    Can I pick your brain?

  • http://www.CarriBugbee.com/ Carri Bugbee

    Good post—reminiscent of others I’ve seen on this topic over the past few years about the “could you meet me for coffee?” conundrum.

    Personally, I think people who work in large, corporate environments are the worst offenders of this. They often lead insular lives while happily ensconced in their corporate cubes until the moment they realize they need to move on—or get pushed out. Then they flail away at their “networks,” reaching out to people they never had time for in previous years.

    It seems that self-employed people better understand the virtues of reciprocity and staying connected because their networks are essential to business survival. At least, that’s been my experience.

  • jbutson

    Thanks for raising awareness of a better way to network. I always oblige someone in need, even when I know they are looking for a boost they may never return to me or someone else. But I always let them know what I think about their approach. Social media provides opportunity for exponential networking and influence but i do think it dilutes.