Are You A Giver Or A Taker In Your Relationships?

6956173-girl-hands-daisy-flowers-summer-moodSome 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!

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Signs your partner might be cheating on you…

blogWe all like to think it could never happen to us, but sadly, straying partners are becoming ever more common. So what are some of the tell-tale signs that your partner is cheating on you? Here are some common points I have drawn up after evaluating 78 divorces (which ended due to cheating) in the past year. NOW, this list is not intended to make you Mr or Ms Private Detective/ paranoid stalker. These pointers below should only alarm you if you notice a combination of at least 5 in your partner within the last 6 months…

Glued to the mobile phone

Often the mobile phone can give you the first clue there may be a problem. Has your partner started sleeping with it under their pillow? Keeping it close so you can’t answer it if it rings could be a sign your partner is anxious about who might call. Are they often disappearing to the other end of the garden to talk privately? Are texts suddenly arriving late at night?

Hiding the emails

Suddenly he or she is spending a lot of time on the computer and unless there is some new project or business venture happening, this may be a bad sign. A new email account could imply that your partner is intentionally hiding things from you.

Interest in their appearance

If his idea of exercise used to be moving from the fridge to the couch, and weight training involved carrying a bowl of potato chips, you are probably right to worry if he’s suddenly lost 47 pounds and is developing a six-pack by visiting the gym regularly. And catching a waft of an expensive new cologne could alert you that something is a bit fishy…

Changes in routine

Be alert to unusual changes in routine. Perhaps she’s leaving earlier in the morning, or he always seems to be late home on a Wednesday? A sudden need to be away on business trips a lot could also signal that some extra-curricular business could be going on…

Following the paper trail

If your partner is rivalling Usain Bolt in their effort to get to the mail before you, it could be because they want to hide things such as credit card statement. Unexplained purchases, or a new credit card in their name only, could signal a cheating partner. Withdrawals of cash that can’t be accounted for is also of concern – particularly if this is not in their nature to do so, and a receipt for that gold necklace you have never seen might also set alarm bells ringing.

Bedroom problems

This is a really tricky one. If he isn’t showing any interest at all, that’s not a good sign. Alternatively, if she suddenly appears in the doorway with a new pair of pink fluffy handcuffs, she may have got that idea from someone else.

A guilty conscience?

Sometimes the first thing that alerts you is when your partner is suddenly buying you flowers or expensive gifts. Over-compensating because of guilt is not uncommon, so wild declarations of undying love, that seem out-of-the-ordinary, may have a deeper significance.

Changes in attitude

Or sometimes she may start to nag or become easily irritated. Perhaps he seems resentful, or accuses you of being a control freak? This is not that unusual, as it paves the way for shifting the blame if they get found out.

Things don’t add up

Keeping up a web of deceit is actually quite hard, and in the end the truth will out. If you catch your partner lying when this is out of character for them, increase your suspicions.

Ultimately, the acid test is probably your own gut instinct. All these things could have a perfectly innocent explanation. But if you have that feeling in your bones, and can spot some of the tell-tale signs, maybe it’s time to be brave and start facing the truth. If you have a concern, speak to one of our trained Angels who can help you assess your situation and map out a plan for what to do about it…

Till next time

Lots of hugs

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If forever single and 50+ – are you a woman who emasculates men?

In a recent article for the Daily Mail, Kate Mulvey bemoans the fact that as she approaches 50, she is not yet married, putting this down to the fact that men are unable to cope with a woman ‘outshining’ them. She refers to recent research confirming this, saying ‘I have lost count of the times men have rejected and insulted me simply because I was brighter, wittier or cleverer than they are.’

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In her article, Kate talks about several occasions when her partners (for she seems to have had many), have reacted negatively when she has demonstrated her superior knowledge or intellect. She is ‘convinced that the reason I am still booking a table for one..[is] because men are so threatened by my intelligence.’

Kate outlines her academic prowess, including having breezed through university, stressing how she continues to enjoy learning, and how she is keen to flex [her] intellectual muscles, and to never let a man get the last word just because of his sex. Kate concludes that it’s necessary to become a giggly man-pleaser in order to have a successful relationship, and is unwilling to sell-out by doing so.

Fair enough Kate, but I am not sure if your assessment of why you are single is accurate…

I don’t think men are threatened by you, I think men feel emasculated around you so don’t like the way they feel about themselves when with you, so they leave you…

I agree that it’s not necessary to conform to some stereotypical view of a submissive doormat, who flutters her eyelashes and simpers, because it’s impossible to attract a man otherwise BUT I also think shoving your superior knowledge or intellect in their faces is not going to win any relationship points.

Consider what makes a fulfilling and positive relationship. What do most people, male or female, look for in a relationship? Of course, there are many answers to this, and what makes one person happy in a relationship may not make another person feel the same. However, at the heart of any strong relationship is the concept of mutual love, support and respect, and the idea of your partner wanting the best for you, and helping you to be the best that you can be. No-one feels happy in a relationship where one partner is so concerned to demonstrate their capability or strengths, that they don’t take their partner’s feelings into consideration.

The sad thing is I SEE SO MANY WOMEN LIKE KATE WHO DO THIS. They then blame the men for being threatened!! Ladies: showing a constant need to be the best, or always wanting the last word, is not a good way to communicate care and respect for your man. For a relationship to deepen and strengthen over time, it needs to be carefully nurtured and nourished, by letting him know that he is the most important person in the world to you, and that you care about how he feels. Continually undermining him, or competing with him, will exhaust him and damage and end your relationship.

Here are some sure fire signs that you emasculate men:

  • Ask him for help, then either criticise what he did, redo it or do it your way
  • Fight and shout in scream in public
  • Call him names in front of other people or mock him in public in ANY way, shape or form
  • Belittle what he does for a living
  • Mother him
  • Flirt with his friends in front of him
  • Tell him another guy could do it better
  • Straighten his tie or preen his clothes for him in public (like his mother used to do)
  • Pat him on the head in public
  • Never praise anything he does, just criticise
  • Nag and nag ang nag him shouting instructions at him to do x,y or z
  • Belittle his manhood
  • Micromanage his every move
  • Tell him you will pay for things all the time or ASSUME that he cannot pay his own way
  • Embaress him by giving him bigger presents than he gives you
  • Nothing he does is ever good enough
  • Go on and on about how clever you are
  • Laugh at him mockingly often
  • Make his salary an issue

What makes a great relationship? When both of you feel like the best person of yourselves when together. Most men I know have no problem with a highly intelligent woman – on the contrary: they look for them. BUT when a highly intelligent woman is also arrogant, haughty or emasculating to be around – most men will run a mile.

If a couple lays a foundation of mutual support, encouragement and respect, this builds confidence in the relationship. True love is demonstrated by the willingness to compromise occasionally, and a genuine concern to act with their best interests at heart. You will not want to hurt or embarrass your fella, especially in public. Choosing not to outshine your man on occasions, (even if you could), is not selling out. You simply recognise that consideration for his feelings is far more important to the health of your relationship. A man who truly feels loved and valued will not want to leave.

SO, if you are forever single, serially dating and being dumped and 50+ and have been telling yourself that you are just too smart and intelligent for all the men out there – stop. Take a look at yourself. Has your positive sense of self turned your arrogant and do you emasculate the men around you? If so, then come and do the Naked Divorce program and get to the source of why you keep pushing great guys away and sending most men running a mile. As you are the common equation in each relationship you have ever been in, it might be time to look deeper at what you can be responsible for.

Till next time

Lots of hugs,

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