Givers vs Takers
Givers like having fun with people. They are just full of unembarrassed enthusiasm and an innocent zest for life. They radiate optimism and insist on living fully. They offer time, advice, commodities, services, attention, compassion, communication, and much more. Givers mindfully create friendships, partnerships, and relationships.
Takers, on the other hand, have the habit of emotionally reacting to other people. They see their lives as constant struggle. The core belief of the taker is that life is unfair. The taker is a personality-obsessed victim. Paradoxically, the more they “gain” by taking, the more victimized they feel.
Most people are takers. They have a hard time giving because they were disappointed by previous attempts. The belief is that they have tried giving before and it has backfired.
But here’s the thing: What most people call giving is really a misconstrued form of trading. You see, they’re focused on what the return will be. True giving does not focus on a return. True giving is only concerned with giving. The giver gives unconditionally.
Now here’s the secret: Accomplished givers are almost always former takers. Myself included. We’ve found that giving does not bring happiness in return. We reinvent ourselves.
The happiness is already there. Happiness is contained in the very act of giving.
Getting this out of my head and in print has reminded me of several other things that I inspire through my workshops:
1) The “gifting economy" of Burning Man (as it contrasts to a barter economy or a market economy)
2) The Five Languages of Love (personal gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch)
3) “refined selfishness” (giving simply because it make you feel good; no other return is ever expected)
4) “reverse kleptomania” (secretly, covertly, almost compulsively giving people gifts without their knowledge)
5) Finally, this one question that will definitively tell you if a giver or a taker: “When you tell your story, would you rather be pitied or envied?”