Givers are people who focus on contributing to the success of others. They get satisfaction from helping others achieve their goals and desires. Givers are pleased when they provide time, energy, knowledge, resources, or something else of value to others. Takers, on the other hand, are the opposite of givers because they tend to focus on getting things from others.
Givers and Takers Attract Each Other
This can be a tricky situation because takers see givers as easy targets. Donors want to help others and make them feel good, so they often don’t realize that takers are just using them for their benefit. Donors must set boundaries in such situations and not let a toxic person take advantage of them.
Why We Give and Why We Take
Giving and taking are both acts of selfishness. When we give, we make ourselves feel good; when we take, we expect something to be given.
This isn’t to say that giving isn’t also an act of selflessness. But when we give something without expecting anything in return, it’s usually because it makes us feel good.
The same is true for taking: We feel good when others give us what we want.
- Giving – When we give someone a gift or do something nice for them, we can make them happy. This, in turn, makes us happy, too, because we feel like a good person (even if we don’t deserve the credit for our kindness). We give because it feels good to make others happy.
- Taking – By having someone do something for us (be it a favor or a gift), we get what we want, and that makes us happy because now our needs are being met, and our wants can be fulfilled. We take it because it feels good when others do something for us.
How People Become Givers
The first step in becoming a giver is understanding that you aren’t putting yourself last. It may feel that way, but don’t worry – that’s how it should be. The key is to realize that giving isn’t a choice but a responsibility. You have to help others, whether they ask for it or not because your own life will be better because of it.
Someone may become a giver. They feel guilty about not giving in their life when they should have because they’ve been taught to always give to others or because they like being led.
How People Become Takers
Takers are people who take advantage of others. They don’t respect others’ boundaries, they take more than they give, and they’re always looking for a way to get ahead of others. In other words: Takers are only looking out for themselves.
They may become takers because they feel they never had enough as a child because their parents were takers or gave them too much, or simply because they always feel entitled.
Why Takers Feel Entitled
Takers feel entitled to what givers give. They assume they’re entitled to your time and money, your energy, your attention, and even your love. They also feel that they owe you everything you’ve. Therefore, they ask you for favors and make demands without paying attention to whether or not you can fulfill them.
They Think Only of Themselves
So if someone does something nice for them (like inviting them to dinner), they believe that person owes them – and they expect something in return at some point. They’re often good about not complicating things.
For example, if you give a giver money to help them, they’ll probably refuse, and you’d have to insist, and the act of giving becomes a whole conversation.
A taker will simply take and perhaps thank you, but he’ll not engage in discussion or justification; he’ll simply take and move on.
Takers Will Take as Long as They Can
Takers will take as long as they can. They’ll take until their life is a shambles, and then they move on because they think it’s normal. They take as long as they can until they die.
The reason is that takers have no self-control or discipline to say “no,” even to themselves. So when they want something, they take it, no matter what it costs them.
They don’t care about the consequences of their actions because the only thing that matters is what they want now. That’s why they always want more than they need and never stop when they’re full – even if there’s more food on their plate than they could ever eat in one sitting.
It’s important to set and enforce boundaries with your takers because if you don’t, you’ll end up with nothing but the remnants of a once-healthy relationship.
Successful Givers Know How to Set Boundaries
Giving is a great thing, but it can also be very stressful. If you’re not careful, you may end up doing for others what they should be doing for themselves.
This is especially true if your relationships are one-sided and the other person is unable or unwilling to reciprocate.
The key to being a successful giver is learning how to set boundaries. If you don’t set boundaries, you end up doing for others what they should do for themselves. In the long run, setting boundaries can help prevent burnout because it helps you better manage your time and energy.
We Set Boundaries, So We Don’t Get Taken Advantage Of
Setting boundaries is one way to protect yourself from the takers in your life. Takers are people who always take and never give. They use all your energy and resources and then move on to their next victim without looking back. If you don’t set boundaries, you’ll be exhausted by these people and lose yourself in the process.
Givers Are Generous, Kind-Hearted People Who Want to Give Their Time, Money, and Love Unconditionally to Everyone Around Them
Unfortunately, some take advantage of this generosity because givers are not careful to set early boundaries in their relationships with others.
The key to a healthy balance between giving and receiving is learning to set good boundaries (i.e., limits) about what kind of support you give to someone and what kind of support is acceptable to them when they ask for it.
When and How to Set Boundaries
If you feel you’re being taken advantage of, ask yourself, “Why am I contributing to this?”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re responsible for making other people happy. But it’s important to set boundaries and stick to them. If someone asks you to do something that isn’t reasonable or that you don’t have time for, say no.
Setting Boundaries Is Also an Important Part of Building a Life That Makes Sense for You. If You Don’t, It Can Be Difficult for Those Around You, Too
When you first learn to set boundaries, it can be easy to get lost in the idea of “all or nothing.”
You may think that if you let someone get away with something once, they’ll take advantage of you forever. But that’s not necessarily true! Rather, it’s important to have both healthy boundaries and healthy relationships with others.
Here are some tips for setting boundaries:
- Be clear about where your boundaries are. If you need help, try asking yourself questions like, “What’s at stake if I don’t set this limit?” or “What’ll happen if I allow this behavior?” This will help you understand why a personal boundary is important to you personally and what the consequences might be if you ignore it.
- Respect others’ boundaries, too – but only as long as they make sense to both parties. Remember that everyone has different needs and wants. Just because someone doesn’t want something doesn’t mean they don’t have those preferences! It just means that their needs right now (or ever) don’t match yours.
Physical Boundaries Are Also Important
Physical boundaries often define mutual respect because body language can sometimes say much more than a conversation between a taker and a giver. When a taker gets too close, we can feel invaded, like someone is taking away our space.
- “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘No’ to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett
- “When people overstep, it’s not always because they don’t respect your boundaries. Often it’s because you haven’t drawn your boundaries. If you don’t tell them where the line is, how can they learn to stop crossing it?” – Adam Grant
- “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brene Brown
- “Families living in dysfunction seldom have healthy boundaries. Dysfunctional families have trouble knowing where they stop and others begin.” – David W Earle
- “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.” Edwin Louis Cole
- “Appreciation, not possession, makes a thing ours.” – Marty Rubin
- “Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.” – Henry Cloud
- “You should be willing to do something that takes you five minutes or less, for anyone.” Adam Rifkin