Remember in Part 1 of this blog series, I began to ask my new friend purposeful questions. By answering the questions I gave him he discovered the underlining theme in all of his past relationships, and the painful breakups that followed, stemmed from something which was specific to his own personality. Now before you jump ahead and think “well how can someone change their personality to fit in a relationship”, it’s important to know his biggest strength was actually their biggest weakness. He has a High S personality primarily, which means he has a big heart for people and putting their needs in front of his own. He would do things like pick up their dry cleaning, go to the store for them a lot, bring them a surprise coffee, and whatever he could to make sure they were happy. He never complains about not getting to pick the place to eat or which movie to see. In fact, he would rather they pick. See where I’m going with this?
My new friend is a Giver! An enormous Giver at that! Inside his own answers to the questions I asked him, he discovered that Giving was his natural happy place. So when the opportunity to Give came up in his relationships, he was energized to do it.
He’s had 3 serious relationships in the past. Each with great people. He told me about their differences of course, but they were all with good people, not toxic. I then asked him if he knew the difference between Givers vs. Takers. “Nope”, was his response.
Our world is full of two types of people, Givers and Takers. Just as their titles imply, some people give to others and some take away. It’s important to know, while some people may be mostly a Giver or mostly Taker, you can probably picture who that is in your life right now, actually most of the time we all sway from one to the other depending on the relationship (Giver as a parent but Taker as a spouse), environments, circumstances and maturity levels. Now let’s look into each one individually.
I told him, “Dude, you’re a total Giver.” “What’s that?”, he replied. “When it comes to people you care about, you would rather give than receive. Am I right?” I asked. “Nailed it!” he responded quickly. “Most likely, you fall into multiple categories within something Stephen teaches on called the ‘8 Types of Givers’”:
- Auto Giver: Contributes spontaneously and generously
- Occasional Giver: Contributes from impulse and thoughtlessly gives without any motive
- Moral Giver: Contributes from a sense of duty and with joy by adding value to others
- System Giver: Contributes because of a system of beliefs
- Guilt Giver: Contributes as a way of apologizing for mistakes to ease their conscience
- Theatrical Giver: Contributes as a matter of display to win public applause
- Conventional Giver: Contributes grudgingly because others are giving
- Reciprocal Giver: Contributes only with a motive for gain
“From what you’ve told me bud, you are the first 4 types of Giver for sure, possibly even the 5th, because of you would feel bad for not giving more.”, I told him. “Now I want you to really understand something…This is a great thing! Givers are what’s good in the world. They are the positive light we see on social media or YouTube that brightens our day. Givers are phenomenal listeners. They are always willing to help out. They are very protective and loyal to their close friends, fighting for them, or a good cause, with their inner-fighting, huge hearts.”
He starts to sit more upright in his seat, chest out, shoulders back, with a confident gesture on his face. No he didn’t make the Superman pose, but he should have! “Here’s where your Giver Superman cape is tripping you up.” I told him. “You give TOO MUCH!” “I do?!”, he snaps back at me. “Yep”, I replied. “But I thought we are supposed to Give in a relationship?” he asked. “You are correct.” I responded quickly. “However the Giver’s biggest struggle is giving so much they often are taken advantage of and they give until there’s nothing left. This is when resentment can creep in.” I informed him. His eyes widened and his head shook north and south like ‘YEP, THAT’S FAMILIAR!’
“Were you taken advantage of in your previous 3 relationships?” I asked. He replied, “Every one of them. In different ways, but I eventually felt unappreciated. To the point when I was just tired of putting up with it. I felt like I was just their provider and that’s it. The contribution definitely wasn’t mutual. It felt disrespectful.” I responded with something, that when constructed properly, is the biggest asset to a High S/Giving personality. In fact it’s a HUGE asset to all personality types because it gives you more respect and belief in yourself. When you put this asset into to good practice, other people respect you much more as well. Discover this vital asset for all personalities in the final part of this blog series, part three.