Giving and Receiving: Which way does your scale tip?
It must have happened to you more than once being in a situation where you feel you gave more than you received. Let’s say you have been working crazy hours to finish an important presentation at work to then realize your boss is the one presenting it to the clients without mentioning your name. Or every time you meet your best friend, they go on and on about their problems while you sat there in silent listening to them.
As humans we tend to analyze everything from a “give or take” perspective. It is almost like we are keeping score in every single interaction. If we picture a big scale – a scale where we add a weight for each connection we have splitting it in terms of giving and receiving – to which way does it tip more? This would be the first aspect to be aware of. Do I consider myself a giver or a receiver? Do I feel I give more to others in my relation to them or do I take more from the ones surrounding me? Often than not, the ‘giving side’ is more noticed and we forgot what is given to us.
By now you could be asking yourself which version is the better one, the more evolved – being a giver or a receiver? If I consider myself a giver, I might feel all my energy is spent around other people’s lives. Others are my focal point; others are my priority. I can only feel good about myself if I take care of others’ needs first. Or it’s the other way around. I see myself as a receiver, meaning I nourish myself from other people’s energy and use it for my own benefit. I put myself first, focus on my needs and priorities so I can then attend to the ones surrounding me.
Regardless of which version you believe fits you best, how do you feel at the end of the day? How are your energy levels? What are you focusing your strengths on?
What if there were a world where the dialectic between giving and receiving does not apply? A place where interactions are not part of any scoring game, where the scale does not tip over to one side or the other. You might wonder how it is possible to find such steadiness and you may doubt its likeliness. Still, entertain this thought for a few minutes, let it take its shape. What if we were to give without immediately – sometimes unconsciously – waiting to receive in return? Perhaps we can just be. By being we allow ourselves to feel connected in that moment without rushing into the next. And if you must GIVE, then give YOURSELF the opportunity to be present in the now. No rush, no judgments, no games, no scores. Giving or receiving, either way, just relish the moment while it lasts from a genuine and grateful place.