Most people are predictable. There’s only a few drivers in assessing what someone will or will not do. Once you learn what motivates them, ask yourself, “How much effort needs to be put in and what is the reward for it?” I can guarantee those low value high effort items aren’t making the list.

Learn behavior, it might teach you exactly were you stand. It’s no coincidence that people say talk is cheap. It is, so know your worth!

Pay attention to the way someone treats you, you’ll learn far more than in words alone.

It’s all about effort, reward, and a little bit of happenstance. Think about what motivates you, there’s a reason change management starts with a good, “what’s in it for me” statement. People will still surprise you, in both good and bad ways, so don’t forget about the happenstance.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is the effort too much?
  2. What alternatives offer better rewards?
  3. What has the past taught you?
  4. Is anything really owed to anyone?
  5. What about the happenstance?

If you think about it, happenstance is really risk, karma, luck or however you want to look at it. Sometimes you do more or less based on a whim, and sometimes people either surprise you or let you down. It’s your job to learn if the odds of that relationship are in your favor or not. Leave it up to happenstance.