If you’ve been reading my work, then you know I’m a big fan of quotes.
As usual, I was looking for a quote that would go well with this article and ended up reading one that said “The happiest people in life are the givers, not the receivers,” and I have to say that I disagree.
Of course, giving is a wonderful act that one can do for another being. Being more of a giver myself, I know that it’s something that gives me immense satisfaction, deeper meaning, and purpose.
There are certain behaviours that come with being a giver:
1. You always return other people’s things. Whether you’ve borrowed something, or someone may have left something with you accidentally, you’ll make sure that it goes back to its rightful owner.
2. You find it difficult to ask for help or any kind of assistance because mostly you’re the one offering it.
3. You like to give gifts to people to whom you are connected. Being thoughtful about people’s likes and preferences is something that comes naturally to you, and your heart fills with joy as you see them smile.
4. You’re great at giving advice and help to others but aren’t good at using your own. Yes, you tend to overdo it at times because you just can’t help yourself from looking out for another person.
5. When someone asks you about how you’re feeling, you get a bit awkward because hey, asking about someone and being there for them is your domain.
6. You always express gratitude and remember even the smallest gesture of kindness that someone has shown toward you.
7. While you don’t like to keep anything that doesn’t belong to you, you don’t even like asking for what’s yours.
8. You genuinely enjoy doing things for other people because it feels meaningful and fulfilling.
While it’s great to be a giver, it does have its flipside. You might also:
>> Struggle to set boundaries. Saying no makes you really uncomfortable.
>> You tend to understand what everyone around you is going through but fail to extend that understanding to your own self at times.
>> You are prone to getting tired and exhausted from all the doing and giving.
>> You feel a lot more depleted when you are unable to balance your needs and wants with those of others’.
>> You feel other people’s pain, which makes you overlook your own.
>> You’re always there for others and at times don’t know how or when to step back and switch off.
>> You think that you’ll be considered valued and important only if you’re doing things for others and often at your own cost.
Thus, givers who don’t have healthy boundaries lack self-care and are unable to prioritize their well-being along with others’.
“Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way of taking care of others.” ~ Bryant McGill
All this giving without any receiving leaves you intellectually, emotionally, and physically empty. Givers are more prone to feeling misunderstood, lonely, and disconnected from their own self and the world and that’s because the act of giving yourself to another person without looking after your own needs, desires, values, and vision for life leaves you depleted.
That’s why it’s important to remember that while it’s great to be a giver, you also need to fill your own cup every now and then. Givers need to be receivers too. In fact, a lot of givers end up over-indulging in the act of giving because they think or expect (subconsciously) that others will automatically give them what they want or need. But what they fail to realise is that it puts them at risk of being taken for granted and considered as someone who’ll always be understanding.
That is an extremely frustrating territory to be on.
Eventually, a lot of givers end up roaming around with an empty cup that they’re struggling to fill. Sadly, even when they reach this stage, they continue to give even more, hoping that someone might see this and understand them.
“Self-care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~ Eleanor Brown
But the equation of give and take is not that simple.
All givers need to remember and remind themselves time and again that they, too, have needs, wants, and desires. They, too, want to be loved, cherished, supported, and celebrated for who they are without having to bend over backward to get that. They also need to feel special and that they’re a priority.
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, not what’s left of you.” ~ Katie Reed
A giver also needs someone to give them love, kindness, care, support, and appreciation. They need to be held, seen, and heard with tenderness and care so that they can also learn to lean on someone and breathe.
They deserve it.
You deserve it, and you shouldn’t have to fight so hard or push so hard to get it.
Give all the love that you have within you, my friend, but make sure you replenish yourself as well.
After all, you really can’t pour from an empty cup, can you?
And don’t wait for someone to show up to do all this for you. Give your love, care, and attention to yourself so that you’re able to choose the kind of people who are willing to give the same to you.
At the end of the day, a giver needs a giver too. A giver needs and wants to be a receiver.
“Take the time to love yourself today. You deserve it.” ~ Avina Celeste