The telltale signs of takers, you know, the people in your life that always seem to show up when they need something. Yet, when you’re in need, they’re nowhere to be seen. Do you ever think to yourself “I’m sick of asking, so I’m just going to get through it myself.”
The truth is in many ways I have taught people to take from me because I give so freely and more often than not, without any prompting. Maybe you have taught others how to treat you. Are you a natural giver, the kind that just keeps giving and giving till it hurts? Possibly you make it a challenge for people to give to you. Do you receive when someone offers help?
6 Telltale Signs of A Taker
It’s important to be aware of the takers in your life, especially when you are a natural giver.
1. They show up when there’s something in it for them: maybe you just got a promotion, and they need a job – all of a sudden you’re best friends again.
2. You share your heart with them and they don’t hear you: You’ve just finished pouring your heart out to your friend and you see a glazed look over their eyes, and then they start telling you about their problems.
3. They rarely or never reciprocate: you’ve been there whenever they have asked for help, and then when you ask for help – they are too busy. I loved the line that Natasha Tracy wrote in her blog post The Reason You Shouldn’t Get Angry “My favorite thing is “I didn’t have time.” Yes, you did. You had as much time as you felt like. You used your time on things you consider to be more important.”
4. Me, me, me, I, I, I: you know the person, there’s one in every circle – the conversation is always about “me” or “I”, there is no mention of a “we” or “you”.
5. They never contact you: you know those relationships where they never contact you, you’re the one always making the phone call, initiating a lunch date or organizing a party.
6. They only support you, if you give something in return: now this is a tough one, as I know at times I have fallen into this category myself. It’s when it becomes the condition of the personal relationship that it creates red flags.
What do you do when people don’t help?
When the people you ask for help, don’t step up to the plate on a reoccurring basis, it’s time to ask yourself some pretty tough questions:
- Does this person have my best interests at heart, or do they have a hidden agenda?
- Does this person respect and honor me?
- Would this person be here for me at the drop of a hat?
- Is this relationship a season or a reason friendship?
- Is there anything going on for this person?
Now here’s the toughest part, ask them. Let them know that you are feeling unsupported. I am saying this as I know there are some tough conversations I need to have, and have had in the past six months.
Maybe it’s Time to Look Outside Your Circle
People change, circumstances change and life changes. It’s nothing personal, it’s just life. Since becoming very focused on mental health, a lot of the people who used to be avid readers of my blog have dropped off the radar. Funnily enough the support I receive from a blogging and advocacy standpoint comes from the US and the UK.
Looking outside your circle may be joining different groups, or associations. Possibly you need emotional support, so you may need to reach out to a 24-hour crisis line. Be open and willing to look outside your comfort zone and make new friends and collaborators. You may not find the right fit off the starting line, what you will find is new opportunities, fresh hopes and possibilities.
Be a Giver and a Taker
Sounds odd, it’s the truth though, be a giver and taker. It’s an exchange of energy, a gift to and from. Create a healthy cycle of giving and receiving that honors you and the relationships you have with others. Don’t just be a giver, that too has a price to pay – believe me I know. And don’t just be a taker – only worrying about you and what you can get. Be both and be aware of the takers who can sap your energy high and dry.
Who are you? A giver, a taker or both?