Life is made up of what are often described as opposites and giving and receiving is part of this dynamic. When one of these is done and not the other, it will lead to an imbalance being created.
One may receive from another and be unable to give in that situation. Or one may give in one situation and be unable to receive. This is part of life and something that can’t always be avoided. Due to it not always being possible to return the favour or to receive from the same person
However, as a result of this, one will feel the need to give to someone else in their life or to someone they come into contact with. And one may receive something from an unexpected source or from someone who is close to them and seemingly without having to give anything in return.
This shows that a natural balance is being restored. It may not be instantaneous and could take a while.
One Way Relationships
The challenges arise when the above is something that happens on a regular basis in ones relationships. Here one is always giving to others and rarely receives anything in return. There is also the other side of this, where one constantly takes and never gives.
What these two types of people experience is going to be different. This is not to say that in other areas of their life it is the same experience.
One may always receive in their close and intimate relationships and rarely give. And yet in their other relationships may have no problem giving. People who rarely receive from their intimate and close relationships could have no such problems from their other less intimate relationships.
Intimate relationships are usually the ones that bring up the biggest challenges. This is a result of one’s needs being triggered the most in these relationships.
The needs and wants that were not fulfilled during ones younger years will resurface once more in ones intimate relationships. All that has been repressed and denied for many years will add to the present day intensity.
And this means that they can be incredibly powerful and have an extremely strong effect on ones behaviour. This of course can make it difficult to have self control or behave consciously.
Consequences - Givers
So if one is continually ending up in relationships where they are constantly giving, there is going to be different consequences. On one level there is the potential for: anger, frustration, resentment, rage and a feeling of powerlessness. The amount of energy that one has is going to be severely affected. Because in order to have energy, it is important that one can receive from others or one will simply be running on empty.
So feeling exhausted and even burnt out are common themes for people who don’t receive. This can create feelings of being a victim and that one’s needs and wants are unimportant.
And at the bottom of all these consequences and the dramas and pain that is created will be a feeling that one doesn’t deserve to have their needs and wants met by others. One hopes that if they can do enough for others, they will somehow earn the right to have their needs met.
Consequences - Receivers
For the person who constantly seeks to receive from others and without giving anything back in their relationships; there is inevitably going to be a sense that there is not enough. And as a way to overcome this perspective, one has to gain as much as they can.
Feelings of guilt may appear for this behaviour, but they will generally be replaced with the feeling of one missing out if one ever gives to another. One could even feel that they may be taken advantage of if they give to another.
At the root of the need to receive and to rarely give in ones intimate relationships is likely to be a sense that one has nothing to give. And that if they do give something, it won’t be enough.
Although these two seem to be completely different to each other, they are actually very similar. It is often the same kind of experiences that have created them and one may choose to consistently embody one of them or to switch between the two depending on the circumstances.
Having a healthy sense of self worth and deserving means that one knows they deserve to receive and that they have something to give; without feeling guilty or ashamed for having needs or doubting the value of what they have to give.
If one only gives or only receives for example, it is inevitably going to affect one’s self esteem. And with that one will feel out of balance.
The associations that one’s ego mind has around their needs wants and preferences are generally formed during ones younger years. And as a result of being around for so long, they can be taken as the truth.
Appearing normal and not only how life is, but how one is. However, they are not the truth or how life has to be or how one actually is. Once something has become associated as what is familiar to the ego mind, it is associated as what is safe.
This then becomes normal and what one unconsciously accepts about themselves. And should one change these associations, the ego mind will create all kinds of reasons why it is not safe; as a result of the changes having the potential to be interpreted as unfamiliar and therefore as a threat ones survival.
The importance of understanding how the ego mind works cannot be emphasised enough. It will continue to perceive everything based on the associations that have been interpreted as familiar.
At the time of their creation they may well have kept one safe, but as time has passed they are simply creating unbalanced relationships. Letting go of these associations is important and for some this will not require much assistance.
Reading and then questions ones associations may be enough. For others, going over this with a friend, coach or therapist may be required.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.