Came across a post, givers or takers, at http://dailymusing57.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/giver-or-taker/, which really resonated with me.
What makes some folks givers and others takers? Or are we a mixture of both, but with a greater tendency toward one?
Perhaps we learned the give and take of interacting with others as children…maybe with siblings…or with parents and playmates as an only child.
Do those needing approval to bolster their self esteem give themselves over completely to serving others?
Do those having self-confidence take advantage of those without, whether knowingly or unknowingly?
What are the inherent dangers of falling into one category or the other?
And is it ever too late to pull ourselves back from being lopsidedly one or the other…
…a giver…or a taker?
I’ve had difficulty taking without feeling I always had to give back right away. Still do. Once a boss, who became a good friend, asked why it was I couldn’t accept his invitation to lunch without feeling I had to reciprocate the next time we dined out? I had no answer. Still don’t.
Although I have no difficulty giving to others, truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worthy of taking without giving back. Is it because of my Catholic upbringing? Or because my mom told me mine had been an unwanted pregnancy.
I don’t dwell on why it is I’m a giver. It’s who I am. And while I still don’t take material things without feeling the need to return in kind, I’m always open to receiving the gift of love…from anyone. Although I must admit, I return the love immediately…in hugs and words.
Yesterday I met with Carlos for the first time. He had stopped by to give me an estimate on the hedges and trees my husband and I wanted pruned. From the minute we shook hands, our conversation was relaxed and easy. We spoke as though we’d known each other for more than a few minutes. By the time Carlos left for another appointment, we were muy simpatico…very sympathetic. We agreed that connecting with people is what enriches our lives. Material things are necessary, but the pleasure they bring is only temporary. Exchanging hugs, I shed a few hormonal tears and blessed Carlos for being a good man.
When we least expect it, we meet others who feel as we do.
I have learned to delight in taking from others, although such generosity still surprises me. It’s like when my husband proposed. I cried, exclaiming “Me? You want to marry me?” To which he replied “Who else? We’ve been dating for 3 years. Of course it’s you!”
Another lesson learned, albeit late, is to remove myself from the company of those who impact me negatively. Folks who don’t appreciate the full measure of what it is I am giving…
…my heart…for the taking.
Hugmamma, You’re very right in this piece. From the experience of raising two very different children, I’ve come to the conclusion much of the behavior of people begins when their very young–they inherit a big chunk of their personalities. I tried to raise my kids the same, but they turned out to be two really different people. A certain amount was no doubt their different genders and birth order, but I don’t think that accounted for all of it. Knowing relatives from both sides of the family, I can guess who they behave a lot like. It’s very interesting. Interesting an well written. 🙂 — Susan
Each of us is a complex blending of inherent traits, personalities, environmental influences and learned behaviors. What the end result is can be strongly affected by what we bring to the table. We can still control the path we take, by deciding which options and opportunities we take advantage of along the way. Indeed…we are a very interesting species. hugs…
I am very much the same, a giver. Lately, I have learned to accept a little “receiving” as well…but it takes a lot for me to do that. Great post!
I can tell from your posts that you are a giver. Nice to know we have that in common, since I’m an admirer. hugs for sharing that part of you…
Thank you for sharing my post. Having a giving nature is a wonderful way to be- I believe it allows us to connect more openly- as you wrote about with Carlos. Giving without wanting or expecting anything in return is true giving I believe.
Thank you for sharing something with which I could relate, and which lays bare our souls. Not always easy to do, but which often helps others caught in the same cycle. hugs…