Have you ever felt like the designated “giver” in your relationships, friendships, or even your career? You’re always the one offering help, solving problems, and making sacrifices. While this generosity can be admirable, it can also become draining and leave you feeling unappreciated, exhausted, and resentful.

Being a giver can feel like a superpower. You see someone in need, and your instinct is to jump in and help. You revel in bringing joy to others and fostering positive connections. But sometimes, that superpower starts to feel more like a burden. The constant giving starts to drain you, leaving you feeling resentful, exhausted, and unappreciated.

Why Giving Becomes a Trap:

The problem with being a perpetual giver is that we often neglect our own needs in the process. We may:

  1. Prioritize others’ needs over our own: We readily agree to favours, even when overloaded, often feeling guilty when saying “no”
  2. Become emotionally drained: The constant emotional labour of giving can leave us exhausted and unable to support others effectively.
  3. Fall prey to resentment: When our generosity feels unreciprocated, resentment can build, damaging relationships and our own well-being.

There are many reasons why people fall into the “giver” trap. Some might have been conditioned to put others’ needs before their own, while others might experience a sense of validation from being helpful. However, this constant giving can have negative consequences:

  • Burnout: Continuously giving without receiving can lead to emotional and physical exhaustion.
  • Resentment: Over time, unreciprocated giving can breed resentment towards those who consistently take without contributing.
  • One-sided Relationships: These dynamics can become unbalanced, where one person’s needs are consistently prioritized over the others.

Breaking the Cycle:
If you recognize yourself in this description, it’s time to break free from the giver’s trap. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Rethink your self-worth: Your value doesn’t depend solely on how much you give to others. Prioritize your own needs and well-being.
  2. Set boundaries: Learn to say “no” politely but firmly when requests don’t align with your capacity or priorities.
    Communicate your needs: Don’t be afraid to express your needs and desires to others. Open communication can help foster healthier and more balanced relationships.
  3. Practice self-care: Invest time and energy into activities that nourish you and refill your emotional cup.
  4. Seek support: Talk to trusted friends, family, or the best would be to find a therapist and talk to them about your experiences and seek guidance on setting boundaries and fostering healthier relationships.

The Journey to Empowerment:
Becoming an empowered giver is a journey, not a destination. It requires self-awareness, reflection, and consistent effort. Remember, a fulfilled and sustainable life thrives on a balance between giving and receiving. By prioritizing your well-being, setting healthy boundaries, and fostering reciprocal relationships, you can continue to be a source of joy for others while ensuring your own cup doesn’t run dry.

It’s important to note that this process takes time and requires consistent effort. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your progress, and remember, you deserve to be cared for and seen just as much as you care for others.

Relevant articles/videos:
The Surprising Psychology of Givers and Takers | Lemonade Blog
The Dark Side of Being a Giver | Psychology Today

You can’t start your 2024 without these 👀 (youtube.com)

Givers and Takers in relationships – YouTube

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