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Are you a giver or a taker?

We're talking about relationships here, not whether you don't buy a round when it's your turn, or nip into a parking space someone has obviously been waiting to nab....but if that IS you...."boo you!"

Do you ever assess whether you give as much as you take, or take more than you give with your partner or in friendships? Most people are blindly unaware of the dynamic of taking and giving in their relationships and those who are the victim predominately to takers, are the most at risk. The risk is the losing of themselves and further diminishing the value they hold of themselves.

An easy way to figure out which of the above you are is to think of a recent encounter with a partner or friend, a work colleague or parent may also work, but those relationships are more difficult to assess due to their nature and purpose. During the encounter you have in your mind now, did you get to offer a significant amount to the conversation about how you feel, what you think, or what is happening in your life, or did you mostly only hear about what is going on for the other person?

When you find yourself nodding and smiling, and not saying very much other than to acknowledge what you have heard, you may be talking to a taker. This is someone who really has no interest in hearing about anybody else and is quite comfortable monopolising the conversation to make it all about them. Sometimes, when you DO offer something about yourself, they will take that nugget and still manage to turn it back to themselves. You may come away from those encounters feeling drained. Watch out for them, it is interesting to spot the patterns. When you notice the patterns happening, then you are more in control of how to handle them. You can choose to exit as soon as you can politely, or, if you are interested in doing so, purposely start turning the table and start talking lots about yourself. You might see their eyes glaze over, or they start to become agitated. It can be fun, but, it can also be frustrating because you start to notice the takers you have in your life and that can be a disappointing discovery; the people you thought were friends are actually not that good at being friends at all.

If you have suddenly discovered you are a taker after reading this, c'mon, stop it. Listen to others as much as you talk about yourself. Relationships are always give and take, but how much do you give (i.e. your time, your attention, your support) and how much do you take (i.e. whining, demanding, bragging, declaring)?

Have a great day!

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