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Givers, Takers and Sharers
Is Not Knowing And Using This Simple Concept Sabotaging Your Relationships And Destroying Your Happiness?

By Bryan Redfield

   One of the biggest traps I've seen people who are unsuccessful in relationships fall into is they believe there are only two kinds of people: Givers and Takers. As a result, they usually end up being used.

   In the Giver/Taker mindset, Givers always end up with Takers and Takers always end up with Givers. The reason is simple: A Giver, by definition, can't take because then, by definition, he or she is no longer a Giver. And a Taker, by definition, can't give because then, by definition, he or she is no longer a Taker.

   So Givers end up spending all of their time giving, hoping and praying for some sort of a return.

   Givers usually make the other person, the Taker, Number One in their life, which is just fine with the Taker because he or she is Number One in his or her life, too.

   In the Taker's mind, the Giver will always be Number Two, or Three, or Four, Five or Six.

   But the Taker *insists* on being Number One in the Giver's life and keeps the Giver "under thumb" with their famous, trustworthy answer to any requests made by the Giver for something in return: "You're being selfish. All you think about is yourself."

   The Giver then feels guilty, compromises his or her self respect, and allows the abuse to continue, much to the Taker's satisfaction.

   Takers are selfish, Givers are unselfish. It's a great arrangement... for the Taker. But very abusive for the Giver.

   Eventually, the Taker does some version of "the straw that breaks the camel's back" and the Giver leaves, only to match up with (you guessed it) another Taker. And the process repeats itself.

   Takers only walk away from a relationship when they find a better Giver, someone they can abuse more than their current Giver.

   Every man or woman involved with a practicing alcoholic or drug addict is a Giver. And the practicing alcoholic or drug addict is the Taker.

   The Taker in this situation uses the emotion of Hope in the Giver to keep the Giver in line and says, "I'm working on it. You don't know how hard it is. You don't understand." And the Giver hangs on, hoping against hope the Taker will somehow magically change.

   Eventually, after years of abuse and pain, the Giver leaves, while the Taker blames everything on the Giver. The Giver then spends an indefinite period asking him or herself some version of: "What did I do wrong? How could I have make it work? If only I'd done 'X' (been more patient, more understanding, more supportive, etc.) it would have worked out."

   I know, because I used to be a Giver. I went from one Taker to the next, getting abused over and over.

   Then one day, as I was licking my emotional wounds from my last relationship and trying to figure out what I did wrong, I had the good fortune of meeting a woman who was very successful with men.

   She was a woman who had no difficulty captivating a man's attention. A woman who dripped class, radiated confidence and was completely relaxed in any social setting, especially where single men were concerned.

   I asked her how she commanded a man's respect, and kept it, hoping I could learn something that would help me out of my emotionally abused rut to use with the next woman I got involved with.

   She said, "Bryan, it's really simple. Every one in abusive relationships thinks there's only two groups of people: Givers and Takers. But there's a third group. And once you know, understand and 'get' the third group on a gut level, it all starts to fall into place and your relationships start to work out. The third group is Sharers. Sharers know in their mind, their heart and their soul they deserve to receive as well as give. Sharers know, over the long run, the relationship will balance out to be 50/50 give and take. Sharers have a healthy self respect and they expect their partner to treat them with respect, the same respect they give their partner. When they don't, a Sharer leaves."

   "Were you ever in an abusive relationship?" I asked.

   "Sure. I was married to an alcoholic who blamed me for every problem he had. Then one day someone explained the concept of Givers, Takers and Sharers to me. It hit me hard, but I finally 'got it.' I went to my abusive husband of five years and told him I was leaving. He said, 'I'm trying. You just don't understand.' I said, 'You're wrong. I DO understand. And that's why I'm leaving. I deserve better than you.' And I left."

   I hope you don't fall into the trap of being a Giver or a Taker. Think about the concept of being a Sharer, become one, and start enjoying relationships the way your deserve to.

Bryan Redfield is the creator of The Redfield System. You can email him at or visit his website, The Redfield System, Secret Pathways To The Heart Finally Revealed