Popular Posts

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Are You A Giver Or A Taker In Your Relationships?

Some people live life being just on the take – looking at what they can get out of every situation. They’re also not interested in doing something unless they get something in return.
In some way none of us will do anything unless we get something out of it but true joy in life comes from giving without a guarantee of receiving anything in return. Like unconditional love.
If you find yourself being conditional in the gifts you give people i.e. I gave you x, you owe me y then your gift was not given unconditionally.

From taker to dictator

I think self-centered people often wind up taking the Dictator role in relationships. Especially if they’re paired with a giver. This is where `who gets what and how much` is always determined by the taker, the other partner gets whatever the taker decides they’ll get. And that’s that.
This inevitably leads to unhappiness for the taker’s partner. And a failing relationship.

You can’t take and win

This fascinating study ‘Reciprocity is Not Give and Take’ illustrates a powerful reason why takers kill relationships. With a series of experiments, a team at the University of Chicago found that when it comes to social relationships, including intimate relationships, when one side gives, the other side can give equally and both parties feel satisfied.
But when one side takes, and then in return the other side takes the same or receives something of equal value, then the dictator (sorry I mean the taker) is the only happy one left. The other party who was initially taken from is still not happy. It’s just human nature.
So to sum this up, the only relationship that can work and flourish is two givers. But watch out, there are still ways being a giver can be bad for you.

Be a giver, not a record-keeping matcher

Make sure you’re a giver, and not a matcher – someone who remembers every little thing they gave and expects the equal amount in return, or they’re just not happy. This Psychology Today article explains the matcher nicely.
Very often such matchers don’t even express all the things they feel the other party owes them and they become martyrs – always giving, giving, giving and feeling sad and frustrated because the world just isn't giving back. See my earlier post on martyrs here. Don’t become one!

Givers can be taken advantage of

In any relationship the giver is the happiest and also potentially the unhappiest.
Just make sure you’re with another giver, not a taker or a matcher. And the best way to be is always strive to give unconditionally, expecting nothing in return. Except perhaps that warm feeling of giving to someone you love.
Give from the heart because you want to. I think you’ll agree that’s true love and the foundation of something beautiful.

How to know you’re receiving unconditional love

And at the same time respect yourself, don’t be taken disadvantage of and make sure you’re receiving unconditional love too. Not in a tit-for-tat way. But just be aware of it.
When you’re conscious of this you’ll know if your partner is playing the role of a taker and dictator. And you can communicate it to them if they are, because they’re probably unaware of it.
When your partner gives love and is happy, regardless, you know it’s no strings attached giving. And when you mess up, make poor choices, get in your partner’s way, take a wrong turn or sabotage your own happiness and you’re partner’s not disappointed or irritated. And stays right with you, without judging or punishing. That’s another sign you’re not with a taker.
So, are you a taker or a giver in your relationships?
Share your thoughts!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Don’t Hate the Love Month, Learn to Love It!

The love month is upon us, and some people hate it because they are single. Is this you?
Well, time to cheer up – here’s how anyone can learn to love the love month. The thing to remember is that a romantic relationship is not just about sex. It’s about intimacy too, in all its many guises.
Love and intimacy are actually around you all the time in different forms. The problem is, as human beings in our society, we are attached to love or intimacy in a particular form or package.
If it isn't tall, dark and handsome with the name ‘boyfriend’ OR hot and sexy with the name ‘girlfriend’ then we reject it. And when we do that, we fail to see just how much love we have in our life so we wind up running around spitting at couples and cursing at happy matches because we feel angry about being single.

Love is all around you, it’s no cliché

Love is all around and perhaps you don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend but you will have 4-5 amazing people in your life who provide love in its different ways.
This feeling we have of a need for love is actually a need for the various components of love and intimacy, and when we reject and shut off these things because they do not fit some sort of socially accepted package, we are stopping ourselves from enjoying a huge amount of pleasure endorphins and overall feelings of wellbeing.
If you break down the components of a romantic relationship, you might find you have a lot of love around. Here are some examples.


Your mother/father/the dude you watch football with/a friend you watch movies with or collect stamps with – who provides companionship in your life? You get this in many places.


Who do you get snuggles from? Perhaps a beloved pet, a huggy friend, your mother/father or a giant teddy bear. You could volunteer at a shelter or go visit a dogs’ home or buy a giant pink panther teddy bear. You could even put a sign up that you will give away free hugs to get your snuggle time. The simple act of snuggling releases endorphins – doesn’t matter who or what with.


Who makes you laugh? Don’t tell me no one makes you laugh in your life! Surround yourself with gigglers or go try out some Laughter Yoga.

Good Listening

Find someone in your life who really listens to you and gets you. You already know this person and perhaps you don’t spend enough time with him or her. Schedule that in.


When you are single, it’s tricky to get the romance fix BUT there are probably single people in your life you can flirt with so find them and flirt with them.
If you are brave and put yourself out there into environments where you are in close physical contact with new people, it might just creep up on you. Join a dance class and try out that tango with a hunky man, or go to a dating event and simply enjoy the spark of getting to know new people.
See how much easier the love month is to bear when you break it down and find the components?
Go and get the intimacy you need. It’s all there just waiting for you!

Happy Valentine’s day!

Lot’s of hugs