Someone recently asked me what role I play in relationships. Immediately I answered, “I am the giver.” It sounds nice, doesn’t it? But what if you constantly give and receive nothing in return?
“You give to give not to receive. You give to make someone else happy.”
And I get it. And I do. But I give to the point of sacrificing my own needs. That is unhealthy. It’s one-sided. I don’t want to play the role of Mrs. Self Sacrificial anymore.
So, how do I stop? How do you, if you’re in my same position, learn to give with limits? Here are some things I came up with so you give without forgetting about you.
1. Be Aware of the Why
Why do you give so much? That’s a good starting point. Often times we are givers and sacrifice our needs because of fear of losing the person that we love. That’s why I accepted my ex as is, including how coldly he treated me. I was scared that if I didn’t receive him as he was we’d break up and I’d be single again. Fear is the wrong reason to give.
2. Note Your “Giving” Patterns
I had a pattern to give gifts to men I am involved with during the holidays and birthdays. What’s so wrong with that? I wasn’t even in a relationship with some of these men. I gave these gifts to prove my love, and to remind them that I was still there, waiting for them to figure out what place I held in their heart. It was a way to manipulate. That was my pattern. Giving to get a reaction.
3. Learn to Take
Often times givers have a hard time taking. So we gravitate towards men that are selfish, that would never put us first. So you have to learn to take. You have to accept help, guidance and realize that you don’t have to be everybody’s rock. I’m at that place now where I can be vulnerable and really admit that I can’t do it all alone. I want someone to be there for me, support me and give me the love and affection that I desire and give to others.
Lead Photo Credit: Flickr.com/quattro_ftw.