In this world there are three fundamental styles of social interaction. The Givers, The Takers, and The Matchers.
Many of you reading this have likely had at least one Giver and one Taker you know, come to mind immediately. Whilst most of us will fall predominantly into one of these categories, we can sometimes move between them depending on the role we are playing and the type of relationship we are having.
For those of you not familiar with some of the characteristics of each, here’s a quick overview.
These are people that tend to give more than they receive in return.
They are others-focussed and often described as generous helpful people. They give freely of their time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and love connecting with people. They feel energised when they can make a difference or add value to another person.
The Taker tends to take more than they give.
They are often self-focussed and put their own interests or needs ahead of others. They believe that it’s a dog eat dog or every man for himself world. Most takers are cautious and self-protective and have the attitude of ‘if I don’t look out for myself, no one will.’ They will take whatever others are prepared to give, usually without a second thought, and don’t often think about what others might need, or the impact of their actions. The Taker will help others strategically and rarely without considering WIFM (what’s in it for me).
This type of personality could be seen as the middle ground but don’t be fooled.
They are quite different from either of the other personality types. The Matcher tends to work from a place of ‘fairness’ when helping someone else and seeks reciprocity.
Most Matchers believe in tit for tat and relationships are governed almost by a scorecard, with an even exchange of kindness or favours. If you do something for me, I’ll do something for you.
Which category do you resonate with the most?
Would you like to be more of another category in certain areas of your life?
Which category of people makes up the majority in your life?
Today we’ll talk mainly about The Giver. Whilst these people seem to contribute the most, they are also the people that can get taken advantage of, experience frequent burnout, and can get easily treated like a doormat.
Two of the most important skills a Giver can ever learn are:
- how to set boundaries, and
- to recognise that it’s also okay to be a receiver
In a TED talk by Adam Grant, he shared that somewhere between 75-90% of all giving in organisations started with a request.
Most people feel embarrassed or at least uncomfortable asking for help. But if no one asks then you are left with a whole lot of Givers getting frustrated. They want to do something but don’t know where they can be of most value or to whom.
How do you become more of a Giver?
Find small ways to add value to other people’s lives. This might be introducing two or more people that would benefit from knowing each other. It might be sharing your knowledge or providing constructive (non-judgemental) feedback. It might be as simple as taking the time to ask someone how they are doing or ‘how can I help?’.
Do Givers ever succeed?
One of the most kind-hearted and highly successful people I have ever met is the CEO of a huge confectionary company.
I have been on the receiving end of his incredible generosity on more than one occasion. He is the master connector of people, always grabbing the opportunity to add value, make a difference, or help someone else. He’s a true Giver.
Every time we interact with another person, we have a choice. We can try and get as much out of them as we can, or we can give as much value as we can.
You can learn a lot about a person’s character by observing how they treat others.
You can learn a lot about a date or friend by how they treat the wait staff in a restaurant. You can learn a lot about a person by how they treat a stranger on the street or a homeless person.
And you can learn a lot about your prospective spouse or life partner by how they treat their parents, siblings, and even their ex-partners.
Like most things in life, it’s a balance of keeping the right people on our bus and keeping the wrong people off it. Perhaps that’s the perfect topic for another post. Who do you have on your bus?
Success in life is about contribution, not about competition.
When a Giver succeeds, the value and benefits spread and cascade far and wide.
When a Taker succeeds, there is usually someone pulled down or trodden on along the way.
What kind of person will YOU be?
Dalya xx 💙