Too many times, I hear the words, “I have given until I can give no more. My relationship has evolved into a one-way street. I can no longer do this. I want out.”
Ouch! These words come from generous people who enjoy giving and making others “happy”, but it is easy to lose sight of who is in charge of our happiness. You are headed down a long road of disappointment if you make yourself responsible for other people's happiness.
It is wonderful to be around people who are true givers. These are folks who are emotionally mature. In order to avoid becoming emotionally entangled with others, they can gauge their own mood as well as the mood of others.
True giving comes from the heart and soul, it is paying it forward or giving when others have no idea where it came from. Giving to make others happy, on the other hand, can lead to bitterness and resentment. “After all I have done for you…and you treat me this way.”
I've seen givers “give out” and say, "I can't go any further," and then be told, "What's wrong, you used to do all these great things, and now you're going to stop?" This sometimes causes the giver to reach even deeper to find more energy to continue giving, only to be disappointed later.
It’s a fine line to walk, knowing when giving out of abundance becomes giving out of poverty or deficit. There must be a method for replenishing and refueling givers, because if they don’t, they give out.
If givers do not learn to teach others to give back, they will leave. It's not about giving in equal amounts, but rather about giving back in a way that keeps the “giving dynamic” going.
There is no set time frame for giving out. Givers can give out right away or I have seen it take decades. The longer this deficit continues, the more difficult it is for positive change to happen. Becoming resentful, discouraged, distant, or feeling taken advantage of are just a few of the clues that you may be giving too much.
And Parents, giving too much can stifle a child's development. The line is thin, and every child is different, but knowing when you're helping or hurting out of giving is important.
Giving feels wonderful but sometimes givers find it difficult to receive. Failure to allow someone to give back not only robs them of that good feeling, but also teaches them that you do not want to be a receiver.
Giving and receiving in relationships is the cement that keeps relationships healthy.
Elizabeth Gilbert said she will never stop being a giver but, “…as much as humanly possible these days, I try not to give anymore until it hurts. Instead, I only give until it helps.”
If you are a giver, are you getting replenished?
Watch for the blind spots.
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Blind Spots in Relationships
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