Chapter III – Part 10

$ That’s right. I told you this story in the context of the balance between giving and taking because in the eyes of an average observer there was no balance in the case of that couple. Nevertheless, they found balance for themselves and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

$ So it’s better for a giver to have a relationship with a giver and for a taker to have a relationship with a taker.

$ A giver with a giver – boring! Killing each other with kindness.

- I will make you some coffee.
- No, no, darling, I will make YOU some coffee.
- But last time you made me coffee.
- But you are so tired.

Can you imagine that? And a taker with a taker? They would starve to death while discussing whose turn it is now to go shopping.

- I went shopping last time.
- But you bought only potatoes. When I went shopping I purchased bread and butter. In fact, I’m not hungry. Are you hungry? Suit yourself.

$ Hahahaha!

$ I promised to tell you one more thing after you talked to you colleague about your coming late. Have you noticed that it is easy for a taker to take not only because they are self-confident and self-conscious and consequently convinced that they deserve what they want to get? First and foremost, they are charming and irresistible. A taker texts you like this: dear Ann, I’m writing instead of calling because I don’t mean to wake you up – your rest is holy to me and I need to inform you that I will get to work a little late today. I will explain everything to you as soon as I get there. Of course, I’m at your disposal on my mobile.

$ This is already a manipulation.

$ And if I delete your rest is holy to me?

$ A little less.

$ Taking is natural for a taker. Painless. Effortless. If they need to make an effort, they cross to the aggressive side, force you, don’t give a shit of how you are, they are not takers anymore. It happens that givers, while learning how to take, don’t grant themselves the right to get it for free, they only act “as if”, which is an extremely fruitful strategy by the way, and they start from aggression. Of course they realize soon that aggression provokes resistance which doesn’t serve the aim of meeting one’s needs. Let’s get back to the strategies takers develop in order to make taking easier.

$ Takers don’t remember. Or they want you to remind them things. If they promise to do something, they don’t make notes in their agendas, they only say: send me en email or something.

- Did you buy flour?
- No, I didn’t. I’m sorry. I forgot.

$ And when a taker says:

- I’ll get dressed and fetch it right away

a giver says:

- Leave it. All in all, I need vanilla sugar so I’ll handle this tomorrow.

And they have additional work which makes them feel in their element.

$ As if I could hear myself talk.

$ What else?

$ Takers don’t take initiative, they rather let the others serve them.

- Shall we invite Grants?
- Great idea. If you need help, give me a sign.

The day before the party they say:

- Barry comes to the town where I went to high school, I haven’t seen him for 15 years, that’s when he emigrated to Europe, I’m going to see him and I’ll drop to say hello to my parents’ so you and Grants don’t wait for me.

$ Of course, givers won’t call the party off because they hate people changing their plans in the very last moment. Do as you would be done by. They won’t scold the taker because they think that meeting Grants who are on the at hand is less important than meeting an emigrant 15 years after. And the giver is left alone with shopping, cooking, laying the table. And how can you have time for Catalan in such circumstances? Besides, Grants are going to ask: where’s your boyfriend? When you answer, their faces will be painted with worry which means: you’re going to break up, we’re afraid.

$ And they’re right because I worry about it too.

$ Givers solicit nice atmosphere, smooth cooperation, while takers love themselves and that is the basis for most of their decisions. Eva Zurhorst says: love yourself and it doesn’t matter who you marry; love yourself and look forward to the next conflict. After all, such a basis makes much sense: if my needs are met, I have time, power and will to give something to others. Givers take care of others in the first place, they take care of themselves in the second place because deep in their hearts they count on reciprocity: if I give you, you’ll give me. If there’s no reciprocity, they get offended, play on guilt, and get even less reciprocity.

$ Right. I will learn to answer the questions: what do I want? what do I need? With an emphasis on: I.

$ Congratulations!

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