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Givers vs. Takers

As of late, I have been very conscious of the cycle of “give and take.” What makes some of us Givers? What makes others Takers? What, exactly, is a giver and a taker?

According to http://www.dictionary.com/:

Giver: (noun) One that gives
Taker: (noun) One that takes

Duh! But what does that mean?

Upon further searching at that same website, I discovered that give, the verb, has 57 different definitions. The first definition of these seemed most relevant to my inquiry: to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation.

Whereas, interestingly enough, there were 126 definitions of the verb take. Two of those definitions seemed fitting: 1) to get into one’s hold or possession by voluntary action; 2) to receive and accept willingly (something given or offered).

I have heard many people – myself included – say, “I am a Giver. I give and give and give! He/she is a Taker. He/she takes and takes and takes, never giving anything back in return.”

I wonder, do those Takers – the ones so named by the Givers – do they know they are Takers? Do they claim their position as Taker? Do they brag about their position as much as the Givers? Do they say, “I am a Taker. I take and take and take! He/she is a Giver. He/she gives and gives and gives, never taking anything in return.”

I can honestly say that I have never heard the above monologue. Could that be because the position of Giver is a stance of victim? Could it be, if I am willing to continually “give and give” all the while being completely conscious of that attitude and then complaining about the situation, that I am choosing to be a victim? Could it be that I need to take more responsibility for my own actions?

Granted, by stating, “I give and give and give,” I am taking some sort of responsibility and acknowledging the situation. However, I am not taking any responsibility for the fact that I set it up exactly as it appears. Where the problem lies is not with the Taker but is, in fact, with me.

It is not the Taker’s fault that he/she is taking uncontrollably or is not returning equally. No, not at all. First and foremost, I must remember that that is my perception. Perhaps the Taker is feeling that they are the Giver and I am the Taker.

And as I have written about this, I have had this sneaking suspicion crawling up my spine. A dawning. A realization, if you will. It is something that I just recently heard: In relationship, it is important for each person to take responsibility for themselves and take care of themselves. In so doing, each person has ownership and a healthy relationship is the result.

Ah-ha. If I am willing to be a Giver, that is my choice and I must know that for me to be a Giver, I have to attract a Taker. It is, of course, up to me to choose my position. And rather than going to the other extreme, becoming a Taker, I am choosing to find a middle ground.

Instead of being a Giver in a Taking relationship, I am choosing to be a Sharer in a Sharing relationship.

©Angie K. Millgate 11/03/06

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