Are you a giver or a taker?

The world is made up of both givers and takers. Givers are people who like to do things for other people and go out of their way to help those in need. Takers, on the other hand, are people who like to have someone to accommodate their desires and give them what they want. Some […]

Love + Sex Relationship Advice Bill Coleman, PhD

Are you a giver or taker?

The world is made up of both givers and takers. Givers are people who like to do things for other people and go out of their way to help those in need. Takers, on the other hand, are people who like to have someone to accommodate their desires and give them what they want. Some people only give, some only take, but the majority of people fall somewhere in between these extremes, where it’s comfortable to both give and take.

Most gay men find themselves in the middle of being givers and takers. Knowing if you are more of a giver or a taker is important to helping understand your relationships with others. Givers tend to be more passive, accommodating, and unassertive. Givers like to give to their partner, and feels less comfortable when receiving from others. Even receiving praise is difficult, but giving it comes easily and naturally.

“Givers are people whose primary motivation is to take care of others, to make sure others are well, and to contribute to others and society,” said Emma Seppala in a November 2013 article published in Psychology Today. “In a relationship, these are people who are always thinking about gifts for their partner, who take their partners’ interests into consideration, and who are always thinking ‘What else can I do for you?’ They’re pretty awesome.”

Takers tend to be more assertive, aggressive, and even demanding. They have a sense of entitlement, expect to be pampered, and want all their needs looked after.

“Takers are just that—takers. They usually treat people well only if and when those people can help them reach their goals,” explained Emma Seppala. “They know how to work the crowd and seduce, but under the surface, they are primarily motivated by self-interest. You can recognize a taker by how poorly they treat people they believe are of no use to them. You know you’re in a relationship with a taker when you feel sucked dry for all you have—money, affection, time, etc. Once the taker has everything they want, you may be relegated to the unimportant sphere of their life.”

Givers are often attracted to takers who enjoy having their needs accommodated. In the long run these kind of relationships often fail because the giver wants something in return from his partner. Very often the taker will find another giver, and the giver will find another taker.

It is not uncommon for a guy who is a more extreme giver to become more balanced in his giving. Takers find it harder to change, often finding guys who want to look after their needs. Extreme givers are more likely to go to counselling because their life is not working well for them.

Guys in the middle tend to fall on one side or the other of the giver-taker continuum. These guys have a tendency to be either giver or taker, but in a more balanced approach.

So is there are relationship between giver-taker and top-bottom? You could assume that the giver will be more likely to give his body to be taken, meaning that he is more likely a bottom. The taker would more likely take what he wants from his partner. The giver isn’t always a bottom, but he would tend to be in most cases.

It is important to understand if you are a giver or taker in your friendships and relationships. It could affect your choice of friends or partners and to ensure your emotional needs are being met based on the relationships in your life.

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  1. Pingback: Guys who are Givers and Guys who are Takers; What are you? | Dr Bill Coleman