As a free-wheeling, happy-go-lucky individual, I've noticed something of a culture clash between myself and my kith and kin, because we will approach a situation with completely different perspectives. Since its always helpful to be able to see things from a different perspective, here's mine (and feel free to borrow it, seems to be working out pretty damn well for me ^.^)
I am very much an independent individual, I require freedom and autonomy. I value joy and fullfillment and helping others find the same. I value beauty and knowledge and the creation of these things.
I value kindness, but self-preservation must come first. Be generous with what you have, but overextending is just plain stupid. Only give what you are comfortable parting with, and don't mind never getting back, unless an extreme situation from a dearest loved one requires more. I know it sounds mean, but you do not owe a single thing to anybody unless you say you do. If someone helped you out in the past, then it makes sense to help them out, but if they try to say that because they were kind you owe them kindness in return, fuck no! They made their own decision to be kind, and that doesn't actually have anything to do with you- you never agreed to give them kindness back. Besides, the cliche about putting your oxygen mask on before helping others is absolutely true- can't help others when you're gasping for air.
Like I said, I require absolute freedom. I reject the idea of letting yourself be bound because it's what you "should" do, or because you "owe" it to someone, or because you agreed to something without fully understanding the consequences, or entered a bargain and now everything changed, or especially if someone dumped you into a situation and said "now you're stuck until you fix this mess". Bonds should only be made when you are in full, concious, knowledgeable control of them, and they should never be so binding you can never escape.
Life is an adventure, a whole world for us to explore; why waste time on things that make you unhappy? Find what you value, and live by those values- the values you conciously choose, not necessarily what you were raised by or what everyone else thinks is "right". Really, as long as you're not harming anyone (and no, offending someone isn't harming them- its their own fault for hanging around and refusing to be open-minded, or remove themselves from whatever thing they find offensive), it really doesn't matter what you do.
Just find what you need, what you like, what makes you happy and gives you fulfillment, and jettison all the baggage you can (since its all just stuff anyways, with only as much meaning as we give it).