Here's something I really don't understand. Am I wrong to want some subtle hint of gratitude when I dip into my resources (whatever they may be: money, food, time) and provide them to someone?
I want to give the world to those I care about, even if it's only an inch at a time. The truth is I can't. I have to be selective because all resources are finite. They get low. They run out.
That being said, when I choose to give these inches to someone, these limited resources, it's because that person or people mean a lot to me. It means that I've decided to give up something that I can't get back (nor expect back). That should tell them that I value you them more than the resources I give up.
I don't expect anywhere close to equal return on these things. I don't expect favoritism or loyalty or even a million thanks. Which is how it should be. Except I do want to know that as a person I'm appreciated for showing how I'll be there for them when I can. I'd like to know, in the subtlety of their actions, that my friendship is appreciated.
What I don't want is "thanks!" then never see them again until they decide to complain they don't have anyone that has their back, just so I can feel bad for their situation, again, and help them out. Would I still do it? If I had the means yes. But still....it's very frustrating.