There Are Givers and There Are Takers
Are you a giver? I am. I’ll do anything possible for anyone, any time. I have spent most of my life taking care of others, putting myself second, and sometimes, third, fourth or fifth. After many years, I found myself feeling hurt, rejected, used, and resentful. I created an unhealthy pattern for my life, for which I have paid the price.
While it is important to take care of others, it is equally important to understand your motivation. I thought it was my way of expressing love and affection. What I have come to learn is that, while part of it was from love, another part was my need to be accepted and loved. I was trying to make others care for me, so I gave to them and worked hard to please them.
The problem with my M.O. is that I was coming from a place of insecurity and low self worth. I was trying to buy affection.
With the right people, the approach may work out as they are giving as much as you. But, with the wrong people, you will be left feeling alone, depleted, and even more insecure.
Over givers tend to attract “takers” so it is important to pay attention to what is happening. Many of my past relationships have left me wondering what was wrong with me. I did everything humanly possible for the other person so why would he/she easily walk out of my life and never look back? I really thought I was flawed.
But, then I learned that these people left my life when I no longer served a purpose to them. They were never truly invested in the relationship; they were energy and emotion vampires. It was nothing I did wrong, but rather the way they dealt with people.
Having this understanding of myself and these interpersonal dynamics has enabled me to make changes in the way I interact with others.
I now enter relationships from a place of self-confidence and worthiness. I no longer try to prove anything to anyone or try to win anyone’s affection. I am who I am, love it or leave it.
I no longer give of myself to the point of depletion. I create boundaries and have learned how to say “no”.
I no longer live on autopilot. I am cognizant of my motivation for choosing an action.
And, I evaluate my relationships. Is it a partnership? Is there some benefit to me or is it all one-sided?
Never stop giving for that is the essence of life. But, be a smart giver. Pay attention to what’s going on within you, recognize that not everyone is like you, and understand the motivation for your actions.
Most important, remember your power. Don’t ask yourself why people keep hurting you; ask yourself why you’re allowing it to happen.