Givers and Takers Theory


I have a theory I would like to share with you and hear your opinions on (I have many theories). I’ve not fleshed it out yet so here are the basics. It’s about relationships and whilst it is a belief I have held for sometime it snapped sharply into focus following my NLP breakout session on the Toby & Kate McCartney Master Practitioner training course. My theory is that people fall into two basic groups, “givers” or “takers” and I am really referring to them sharing positive affections rather than giving gifts, although giving gifts may feature heavily in their actions. The intensity or depth that you fall into either category is individual, may vary with changes in your circumstances and you are likely to have both traits, so I am talking in general about the dominant side you demonstrate in your actions (as opposed to your internal thoughts).

Put simply, takers are attracted to givers, for obvious reasons. Fortunately the reverse match happens as givers are attracted to takers as it fulfils their need to give without feeling rejected and often without the expectation of receiving something in return (which might negate the good feeling they get from giving). At first glance this seems like an ideal relationship. However……..

At some point, and it may take many years, the realisation dawns on the giver that they get less and less of their own way in the relationship, sometimes to the point where it is never about them, it always seems to be about the taker and how the taker feels. This is likely to be the point when repressed resentment is released to the conscious of the giver and changes take place to try and correct the imbalance. Obviously the taker will find this sudden change a bit of a shock and is most likely to attribute it to the giver developing a selfish streak.

Unless it can be recognised for what it is, I feel the problem will only increase.

If you are in a relationship, you might want to examine it with this in mind and see if you can ensure a better balance that won’t lead to resentment.

If you are not in a relationship and seeking one:

Analyse your previous relationships and see whether giver or taker is your dominant trait.

For takers, realise that whilst your being the receiver helps you and your partner’s needs, that they too need to receive even though it may be difficult for them to do so. It is your responsibility to help them accept your offers.

For givers, recognise that in the consistency and selflessness of your actions and your difficulty in receiving you are training your takers to behave as they do towards you.

And a final thought…….

I hate to think what two takers would be like in a relationship, and I would love to think as a giver that I can manage to pair up with a giver in my next relationship, what a combination that could be!

And yes this theory was triggered by the analysis of some of my past relationships!

Written in 2011.

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