Givers and Takers: What category do you fall into?
September 18, 2012 by
Categories: News, Reblogged

A post by Matt Borer, Ph.D. Check out his Tumblr here.

All friendships can be put in three categories:

Givers:  Those that give to their friendship without taking much in return.
Takers:  Those that constantly take from the friendship without giving much in return.
Givers and Takers or G & T’s:  These are the balanced relationships in which there is a steady amount of giving and taking on both sides.

How can you tell if someone is a giver or a taker or both?


You find you always initiate contact with your friend, they respond when you do but when you open up to them you find they once again show little to no interest. When you call, they don’t pick up, and they often get upset if they phone you and get no response. They are very nice to you in social situations.  – What you have here is a taker.  Takers can be very nice however their interactions with you rarely go beyond the surface. Takers also tend to be narcissistic in nature and feel as though the relationship and often the world, revolves around them. Takers generally have no idea that they are takers and often wouldn’t be interested in giving the thought much time or effort.


You have a friend that visits regularly.  They remember your birthday, share updates with you, and are genuinely interested in your life.  You are always very happy when you hear from this person and respond however you rarely remember to contact this person when they don’t contact you first. – This friend is a giver.   He or she is always giving to you (giving is not the same as presents, it is more of the symbol of emotional giving).  Givers are often very loyal to the relationship, and in turn often hope to have this loyalty reciprocated, and also are typically ok even if it is not.


You have a friend that regularly checks in and shares their life with you.  You may have been in this person’s wedding, and you get your information and share information with them directly, and not through social media.   When you have a birthday or celebration you always invite this friend, and the invite is reciprocated, even when your friend knows you will not be able to make it. You go out of your way fro each other at times of need, and can often go long periods of time without direct contact, and pick up right where you left of in previous conversations. These are examples of a friendship that is both giving and taking.

In Conclusion

All relationships are not created equally. You can be a giver in one relationship and a taker in the other.  In most relationships you are probably somewhere in between.  I have found that if you can be aware of those relationships with the takers in your life, you can learn to focus more on the ones that give as well as take.  This allows you keep those in your life that offer fulfilling relationships, and distance yourself from those that don’t. Awareness of how you are with others in a relationship can also help you ensure that you too are being the best friend that you possibly can be. If you can try to focus on this, you may find that you happier, more satisfying relationships with your current and future friends and family.


In Collaboration with Samantha Borer

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