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Relationships are meant to be symbiotic, in that, they are to be characterized by giver or taker. Parties involved in any relationship (be it a business relationship, friendship, family relationship, etc.) are meant to benefit from each other. They are meant to share. A party in a relationship shouldn’t just be the one receiving or the one solely giving. The giving and taking should be mutual.

One of the major characteristics that shouldn’t be found wanting any relationship is sharing. Things are meant to be shared be it material things, feelings, money, time etc. People in relationships are meant to give and receive ideas, money, feeling, time, etc. to the other party and receiving too from the same. This is not always the case, as some relationships are seemingly one-sided. In some relationships, which are toxic by the way, one party is always at the receiving end. This is not supposed to be so. 

While it may occur that you might be a receiver and not a giver – which is not completely a good thing – it might not be your fault. It might be as a result of reasons which may be tied to psychology – reasons that sometimes are out of control. To offer necessary therapy, it is therefore necessary to know who you are –whether a giver or a taker.


If you have any of the following highlighted traits, then you are a taker. 

  • Putting your interests ahead of others

If you find yourself putting your interests ahead of others then you are definitely a taker. Takers always think of themselves first before considering others (they many times do not even consider others). In relationships, takers almost never think of how their partner will feel. They only care about their own feelings.

  • Being self-centered

Focusing on one’s self is not always a bad thing but when it translates to self-centeredness and selfishness then it becomes a problem. Takers are always self-centered. 

  • Always using the word ‘I’ and ‘Me’ 

When you always use the word ‘I’ and ‘me’ in conversations, you are definitely a taker. Takers are always self-centered. If you find yourself hijacking conversations, interrupting conversations with expressions like, “I used to be better at this”, “when I was asked to do this, I …” etc. then you are a taker. Many of the times, takers subconsciously say “I” and “me” in places where they ought to say “we” and “us”.

  • Only showing up when there is something in it for you. 

If you are a person that only shows up to meetings, invites, gatherings, hang-outs with friends, etc. when there is something in it for you, then you are definitely a taker. Takers never show up unless they stand to gain something from being present. They always look out for what they stand to get from the other person (or people). If there is nothing they would gain from showing up, then do not expect their presence. 

  • Rarely or never reciprocating favors

If you find out that you never put thought to reciprocating favors, you are definitely a taker. Takers never reciprocate favors and even when they do, do so grudgingly, out of compulsion but not consideration.  

  • Have a habit of not listening

Giving doesn’t necessarily have to be material. You can give you time, listening ears, shoulders to cry on, etc.  Takers rarely pay attention to people’s feelings so when they are in a conversation they always find themselves talking and not listening.

  • Seldom or never contacting others

Takers rarely give people their time. They almost never reach out to others. When they reach out, they do so because they need something. If you find yourself in this category, then you are a taker.

  • Always in need of support but never supporting others

Takers always want others to support them, but they are never supportive. 

  • Always calling yourself a giver

Givers don’t blow their trumpets. If you find yourself always clamoring that you are a giver, then you are likely not. Givers are not at all concerned with people knowing that they are givers. So, if you find yourself always highlighting the fact that you give, whenever you give, then, you are not a giver.

  • If you always want things you are involved in solely on your terms.

People that make sure things are done solely on their terms, especially in friendship, are takers. They do not think of or consider other people’s convenience; they only have theirs in mind.


The opposite of taking is giving. The following are qualities you will find in you, that would make you that you are a giver:

  • Focusing on other people’s needs 

People that give are always people-centered. They are always focused on people’s needs. If you notice you are a people oriented person and are always concerned about the needs of people then you are a giver.

  • Giving without being asked 

Givers always give even when they are not asked to. If you always feel like giving even without being asked then you are a giver.

  • Being nice to people you do not need things from 

Takers are always nice when they need something from you. When you are the opposite of this person then, you are a giver. Givers are naturally nice to people, it doesn’t matter whether the person has something to give them in return or not.

  • Giving out gifts for no reason 

Apart from just being nice, givers always see giving as an integral part of their lives. They give out gifts for no reason.

  • Loving to give advice 

Giving advice is also a part of giving. If you love giving advice to people then you are a giver.

  • Finding it hard to remind people they owe you 

Givers find it difficult to remind their debtors to pay back. When they lend out, they find it very difficult to ask for their money’s back.

  • Enjoy doing things for other

Givers just enjoy doing things for others. They do things for others, without doing so grudgingly.


There is a middle ground between giving and taking. You shouldn’t just be either a giver or a taker. For your relationships to be enjoyable and go on smoothly you must learn to be a matcher. A matcher is that person that gives and also receives. People involved in relationships are better-of as matchers. Relationships in which the parties involved are matchers are not one-sided.

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