Hope For Tomorrow Counseling

Finding Balance: Somewhere Between Give and Take: Part II

by: Amanda Kirk, MS.

So the last time we met here, I laid out some characteristics of those who tend to primarily be Givers and those who primarily tend to be Takers. You can read that post here. It’s probably already obvious to you which camp you tend to reside in.

Here’s a simple exercise to evaluate this within yourself if it isn’t already abundantly clear.

  • When was the last time you did something selflessly for someone else?
  • When was the last time someone else did something for you?
  • When was the last time you asked someone for help, advice, etc?
  • When was the last time someone asked you for help, advice, etc?

If your answers to the questions above were more likely to involve you doing for someone else, challenge yourself to ask someone for help this week.

  • Ask them to give you some feedback on something going on in your life.
  • Ask them to watch your kids so you can go to the store alone or take a nap.
  • Ask them to take over a project that they show strengths in, but overwhelms you.
  • Or maybe, kindly and firmly say “no” when asked to take on yet another thing.

If your answers to the questions above were more likely to involve someone else doing for you, challenge yourself to extend yourself for someone else this week.

  • Write an encouraging note to a co-worker, friend, partner, or family member.
  • Complete a task for someone.
  • Pay for the person’s meal behind you in the drive-thru lane.
  • Think of something you really wish someone would do for you and do it for someone else instead.

Yes, some of these suggestions may sound terribly uncomfortable, awkward, maybe even impossible. But if that’s the case, I encourage you to ask yourself why that is. Push yourself a little. Work towards more of an intentional balance between the two. Just like I need to be a Giver as you need to be a Taker, I also need to be a Taker as you are a Giver.


That is what I am challenging myself to, as uncomfortable as it may be sometimes. As much as it flies in the face of that long-held ideal of the “Her” that is so perfect and admired.

Let’s change the ideal from “She is always giving and never asking for anything in return” to “She is generous both to others and herself. She accepts help, offers help and models living generously, joyfully, and honestly.”

Now that’s a “Her” I’d like to be AND know.

*I use the pronoun “Her” throughout this article for consistency and clarity, but of course, this person could be interchanged as male or female and is intended for all.

**If you need help with establishing more healthy practices in your own life, please contact our offices to set up an appointment with a counselor.

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