Basically, there are two types of people in this world – the givers and the takers. We’re not talking about economics or productivity here, but a general emotional capacity which all human beings possess, to varying extents.
The givers are those among us who can understand and empathize with the suffering of others, offering support and emotional strength wherever it’s needed. The takers, on the other hand, are those whose past experiences, usually defined by childhood trauma, have left them with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness which they try to overcome throughout their lives. You’ll hear them being referred to as narcissists due to their self-centered tendencies.
Let’s take a look at the dynamics of the relationship between givers and takers in society, and why the givers need to be very careful in their interactions with takers.
The healing instinct:
Those who are blessed with a giving nature will always try to heal those around them. They have the ability to place themselves in other people’s situations, and therefore really feel their pain as if it’s their own. That’s why they will always be so keen on helping others overcome their troubles. The problem arises in a world such as we live in today, where givers are likely to be surrounded by so many people who are miserable and hurting. Givers will often try to take on more than they can handle, falling into the very same pitfalls they try so hard to help others out of.
The reality of manipulation:
This might sound a little cynical at first, but you have to understand that we’re not suggesting that everyone goes their own way and leaves everyone else to their own devices. Not at all. The narcissistic takers might be family members, life partners, and close friends. What we’re telling you to be wary of is the manipulative aspect of the takers.
Takers and givers attract each other naturally like different magnetic poles, and the bigger their difference, the more intense the attraction. Sadly, this is the reason why so many abusive relationships last far longer than they should. The empathetic giver is always hoping to ‘fix’ the narcissistic taker. The taker takes advantage of this to manipulate and keep the giver within their control, feeding off their spiritual, mental, and emotional energy. Some will even do this unconsciously, but it’s always taking place in such relationships.
Turning the tables:
What happens when the giver has given their all? Well, they will gradually start turning into takers themselves, adopting the tendencies and characteristics of the narcissist as they begin to see themselves as victims. As we said, the taker’s behavior is rooted in a deep sense of worthlessness and pain, and they will inflict these same wounds on those closest to them, willingly or not. It’s a heartbreaking situation to observe, but it’s a reality for countless people.
Is there hope?
Sadly, most narcissists will be too set in their ways for any meaningful correction to take place, especially in the confines of an intimate relationship. They may seem like ideal partners in the beginning – charming, charismatic, attentive, and loving – but their demons always surface with time. Childhood traumas can have their harmful effects minimized and controlled with therapy from an early age, but most people don’t report these occurrences, and even less are willing to give therapy a real shot.
At the end of the day, we have to realize that everyone is responsible for their well-being, and however unfeeling it may seem to the natural giver, getting away from the narcissistic takers is a matter of life and death for them. You can only do so much for those around you, and it shouldn’t be at the expense of your own mental and emotional health.