Givers vs. Takers

Borges would approve of this image. But he's way smarter than me anyway.

Borges would approve of this image. But he’s way smarter than me anyway.

In most of my relationships, I am the giver. This can sometimes lead to problems, especially when you’re involved with shameless, aggressive takers. I promised myself after my last relationship ended that I would look to date givers. I have a date later this week with a girl I met on-line. One of the first things she told me, unprovoked, is that she’s “a giver.” We’ll see.

I wonder what drives givers to be givers instead of takers. Or takers to be takers instead of givers. Or either to be one or the other, rather than balanced. Are there balanced people out there?

This is the last week of the summer semester. My students are emailing me their papers left and right, and as is always the case the last week of the semester, I’m so overwhelmed by the intense focus devoted to literally hundreds of thousands of words that every night when I go to bed I have a piercing headache.
Last night one student emailed me her latest revision at 3:00 a.m. This morning in class–that’s a 9:30 a.m. class–the first thing she wanted to know was whether I’d read her paper yet. I’m guessing that one’s a taker.


Are you a giver? A taker? Balanced? Do you date givers, takers, balanceds, or others? Is there a relationship between what you avoid in your romantic life and what you seek or end up encountering in your workplace?

7 thoughts on “Givers vs. Takers

  1. I think the key is balance. if you rate give/take on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being absolute give and 10 being absolute take, the 0s tend to gravitate toward the 10s. I think it’s because if you have two 0’s or two 10s, no one is happy. it like one will give the other 0 present and because they are also 0, they give you a thank you present, so the first then gives the second a “thank you for the thank you present” present, and so on. two 10s will just continually buy gifts for themselves, so the other does not provide value. i prefer the situation where sometimes i’m giver and sometimes i’m the taker. i try to average in the 5/6 range because sometimes you need to behave like an absolute 10 and you need a partner than can chill in the 0 realm for a bit and vice versa. i think it’s important that you are able to trust any person to accept your give-tendencies and not exploit them, and to help you grow comfortable with being the taker on occasion.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s