Taker – Someone who always takes from other people and never gives back.
Giver – Someone who gives to another person, usually not seeking a return
Many years ago I was in a program where at one point we had to go around the room and tell everyone in there if you thought they were a giver or a taker. We weren’t given a definition of what that meant so it was left to each of us to decide. To me a taker is selfish, self-centered, seeking for themselves without any return, someone who is on the take for themselves and doesn’t consider the other person/persons. A few people in the group said they thought I was a taker. That tore me apart in the moment. I ran to the bathroom and sobbed and sobbed. I thought I was a giver, but based on how some saw me I needed to look at that to see what they saw and make adjustments.
Since that time I have considered my actions and what perspective I am operating from. Some people will see you one way no matter what you do, but I always work to come from the overdeliver/overgiver mentality.
The taker mentality is prevalent in our society today. With entitlement and desperation mindsets, there are many takers out there. People will take advantage of people in any way they can. That is one reason I am passionate about teaching people negotiation skills so they can recognize when people are attempting to take advantage of them and put a stop to it. Whether it’s through pricing of something, terms and conditions or even relationships, there are people who take advantage of people in every environment. Mastering negotiation skills helps alleviate this and you will quickly recognize the takers and move away.
Takers look to lift themselves up at others expense. For instance, why would you seek to destroy someone else’s reputation unless you wanted to take from them? Take their livelihood, destroy their credibility or ruin them altogether. I saw this happen to a friend of mine. In the long run it will come back on the person/people who did it either monetarily, health wise or emotionally. If you have a beef with someone, keep it out of the public eye if you can. There’s no reason to take your frustrations out in public toward a specific person or group unless getting the public involved is the only way to achieve a certain goal (petition to make a change or fight for rights that are being encroached on etc).
When I was in the military, I had someone take the credit for everything I did and he got a job promotion and I ended up working for him. Part of that had to do with the fact that he was a man and I was a woman. This was something I had to fight often in my career. Some leadership opportunities were not offered to me because I was a woman. He continued to take credit for my work while he sat there and played video games and did nothing.
Be a giver as much as you can. Donate time, money, expertise to help organizations that need it. I donate my time, money and expertise to many organizations and people. Mainly my charities of choice are to help veterans which is why I am seeking sponsorships to scholarship veterans into my negotiation training. There comes a point where you can over give so be cautious of that too. You need to have a balance between giving and receiving. Sometimes people feel guilty about receiving and feel like it is taking. There is a difference between receiving and taking. Receiving is in my opinion is a humble experience where a person is grateful for what they received. Taking is selfish and believing it is owed to you out of entitlement or sometimes it is desperation due to the lack of something. Some veterans expect things for free just because they served while others are grateful for what they receive. It’s a mentality, a mindset and how you show up in a given situation.
When you go to a business meeting are you looking to take as many cards as you can to get business or are you looking to connect and give your relationship and help other people? I always say it’s not the quantity of the connections, it’s the quality. I’m sure if you have been to a traditional networking event, you have seen the person running around taking as many cards as they can. Then they put them on their list and they bombard them with email to sell them something. Not a good business model to win friends and influence people.
Dr Ivan Misner who founded the BNI Networking Group coined the phrase “Givers Gain.” He teaches people about giving referrals and building relationships to receive in the long run.
We all want to succeed, we need to receive and it’s good to receive, just know the difference between receiving and taking. Be a giver, do the receiving but don’t be a taker.
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Great article Eldonna. This caught my eye because we were just talking about the whole giving/receiving subject on my morning show that just ended. Being a “taker” is a different “take” on the subject. (pun intended, lol)
Thanks Bob, seems to be the theme of the week. I’m seeing this show up in different form today in other places as well. Great minds think alike!