Give and Take


People in relationships can have trouble with this concept. Many times one person will either give too much or take too much. People who give too much can be uncomfortable with receiving love and effort, while people who take too much may feel no need to give to the other person. It doesn’t just happen in the physical ream; it can be expressed emotionally too. Unfortunately, when we’re used to giving emotionally we can become very drained if we’re not getting anything back. For instance, if a person is always having to listen to another person and does not get much chance to talk or be heard, or he has the sense that the talker is just biding time while seeming to listen to him until the talker can talk again, it can be very irritating. It can be draining to be around that dynamic if you are always having to listen, or if you feel that you always have to make conversation with the other person and they put forth any effort.

One thing you can try if you’re in that position is do the opposite of what you’re used to doing, and see what happens. Does the other person notice the difference in your dynamic? If you are always talking, start listening more; vice versa, if other people have to drag information out of you in conversation, try initiating conversation. See how this changes your relationships, and remember that we all like to give and receive. Unfortunately, some of us are conditioned from childhood to either give without receiving or receive without having to give.

Valentine’s Day is a day to remember our connection to other people, not just romantically but all close relationships and friendships. What are you giving in your relationships? What are you receiving? Do you feel like there is reciprocity in your relationships, or does it feel one-sided often? This is a good day to reflect on your involvement with other people, and to make changes for the better in your relatedness to others and yourself.

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