Givers and takers
By nature most of the readers of this column arelikely to be life’s givers. I know you! You do a lot for others. You pick up. Put up. Do up. You love. You carry. You nurture. You mend. You fix. You heal. You are, in short, pretty damn wonderful.
To paraphrase Taylor Swift: Takers gonna take. Givers gonna give. So, here are two golden rules that Givers need to bear in mind so they don’t burn out:
You gotta set limits.
Takers rarely set limits. Yes, yes, I know they “should” but, in reality, they just don’t. They assume you must be happy doing all that stuff for them or why would you keep doing it? Face it, that logic is hard to get around. It does, in fact, make absolute sense.
So if you are getting tired or resentful about all the giving you are doing, It’s your job, yours to reset the limits on how much and how often you give. That also, admit it, makes perfect, logical sense. Your time. Your energy. Your attention. Your limits.
That also means you have to voice them. Out loud. Not via telepathy. Hard core Takers will only get it if you spell it out. Stop waiting for them to pick up on the obvious imbalance. They won’t. Define what you are comfortable with and reset.
In this situation ___________________________________________I would like to adjust the limit I am giving by _______________________________________________ doing/saying this thing differently. I feel good about this, it’s the right thing to do, for me — I know I am in charge of the limits I set on my time/energy/attention.
It’s not wrong for you to take every once in a while!
It’s actually energetically and karmic-ally sound for you to sometimes be vulnerable, to ask for help, ask for love, ask for what you need — and get it.
Here’s the secret though: because you are so good at naturally anticipating other people’s needs and wants and delivering them, because it’s so obvious to you what is lacking in a given situation, it’s dangerously easy for you to make the mistake of assuming it’s blindingly obvious to everyone else when you need help. That it’s so forehead smackingly obvious you shouldn’t even need to ask.
But, actually, you do. It’s not their gift — it’s yours. It might be insanely obvious to you, but it’s just not obvious to them. Trust me. Just tell them what you need, without being whiney or apologising in advance for actually needing something. Just Ask. Really. It pretty much always is as simple as that.
And then — be okay with receiving! I know it feels weird, when you are a natural giver, and then all of a sudden life throws a curly one and you need some help and you ask and you get it. Know it’s a good thing. It feels good to the people around you, to whom you have given so much, to be able to give back to you for once.
It restores natural balance. Try and get a little more comfortable with receiving. It benefits everyone. Next time someone tries to help you, go crazy and let them! That’s it. Continue with being your fabulous, generous self. The world loves you and the people around you love you. Give with a big and open heart. Just remember if you feel any little twinges of resentment or overwhelm creeping in — check on your two golden rules:
1 You set the giving limits. You.
2 Sometimes it does everyone good for you to go into taking and receiving mode. Giving is great. Just remember to protect your energy, and to allow the opportunity for reciprocity in some manner. Both these things inspire more giving and appreciation all round.
I would love some help in this situation________________________________________________________I am going to ask_____________________________to help me. I am open to getting and receiving some assistance and that feels good. I am not going to wait for them to magically notice and offer, I am simply going to ask for the support I need.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing