The Balance of Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving

Giving / Receiving

It is more blessed to give than to receive“.

That‘s what the bible says.

But that’s not entirely true.

Giving too much can kill relationships. So can receiving too much.

In fact, it is one of the three main rules in Family systems that there must be a balance between giving and receiving. Often, this is not the case. Especially women tend to give more than they receive emotionally: spreading love, giving care, keeping the home nice and tidy. Men, on the other hand tend to give security, protection, money and care – but their role is often seen as less giving and more one of taking and receiving emotionally.

Of course, giving and receiving also extends into all aspects of life. Time management, for example. Client relations. Team dynamics. The list is endless.

So it’s not really a surprise that very often the ratio of giving and receiving is skewed.

And that’s not necessarily bad as long as it doesn’t turn into a huge imbalance rooted firmly in habit and custom. When that happens, we find a really strange and weird anger rising in ourselves. A sense that something is deeply wrong. And it causes unease and unrest. Usually, we find someone to blame for this feeling. And that someone becomes the target for the anger, often for laughable things. And we don’t even know why.

Or maybe our body tells us something is wrong, often through pain or illness. Doctors won’t find a physical reason for it – logical, because the real cause lies elsewhere.

The real cause is a severe imbalance of giving and receiving.

If this feels familiar to you, I have a suggestion: Observe. That’s the first necessary step for any kind of change. So take a close look:

What am I giving all day long?
What am I receiving throughout the day?
How about financially?
Who gives more money?
Who is responsible for emotional wellbeing?
Who gives more of his or her time?

Just observe this. Watch for patterns and repetitions. And then, very gently, very lovingly, draw your balance. Do not judge. Just see who is giving more and who is receiving more, on all levels. Is there an imbalance? And for how long has this been going on?

These things grew over time. That particular kind of anger only arises when the imbalance becomes too massive – which means it is now time for creative solutions, based on your list of observations. Otherwise, you may well destroy that relationship, to end the imbalance once and for all.

But just watch for now. We’ll talk more about solutions next week.

Here are some tapping phrases to help you observe without judgment.

Even though I never really thought much about giving and receiving, but I do feel this strange anger and unhappiness inside myself, I’m okay the way I am and I’m open to the possibility that it might be worth taking a closer look.

Even though I shy away from that close look, after all, life is working out somehow, I’m okay the way I am and  I now allow myself to take a loving and gentle look at what’s going on in my relationship and business.

Even though this talk about giving and receiving sounds weird and woowoo, I’m okay the way I am and I’m open to the possibility that taking a closer look might allow positive change.

And? Did you discover something? Of course, there are always imbalances – but if there is a huge, glaring discrepancy between giving and receiving it is bound to give you trouble. And now you have a great chance to change something.

Do you have questions or ideas? Please share them in a comment.

Image source: F. Moebius

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