In the previous installment of our blog series Givers vs. Takers I mentioned there was one vital asset that was the key to having more belief in yourself. When this one thing is put into healthy practice, we are protected. We are more in control. We can manage our relationships, our money, our jobs, our health, our life much better! It’s Jarvis to Iron Man, it sets the parameters for everything going on outside. Without it, we are reactive instead of proactive. We are forced to deal with whatever comes at us and we don’t even know it’s coming right for us.
“Giver’s struggle with being taken advantage of because they don’t have Healthy Boundaries in place.” I told this to my new friend who’s discovering more about his strengths as a Giver. Looking at me again puzzled, I knew he hadn’t heard the phrase “Healthy Boundaries” before.
I explained, “Everyone struggles with things, such as our daily schedule being overrun by someone else’s priority, or some unforeseen thing getting in the way, not enough money left over, unable to lose the weight we want to, or not getting enough sleep, not enough time in the day to complete a project. These are all consequences of not placing Healthy Boundaries in specific areas of our lives. Healthy Boundaries are nothing more than a set of parameters you set for your own protection to keep yourself from being taken advantage of or falling short on our desired outcomes.” This goes for everyone out there. If you find yourself falling short or find yourself saying “Not enough_____” there could be an opportunity to place a Healthy Boundary in that particular area to keep yourself, and others, in check. For Givers specifically, if you find yourself running thin because you’ve given so much of yourself to someone or a group of people, then stop, take a step back and consider these questions. WHY you are giving so much? Are your giving for the right reasons? If it is justified, then is your giving empowering that other person or is it enabling poor behavior? Should you scale back how much, or how often, you give for your own well being?
“It’s ok to put some boundaries and rules into place for your well being dude. Implementing Healthy Boundaries doesn’t mean you don’t love the other person.” I told him. “Think of it this way…if you give and give and give and give without replenishment, or receiving from that other person, how much of your best version is there left to give anymore?” He gave me that look of ‘you’re right, there’s not much more of that version of me right now’. “Do you want to put steps into practice, which keep you protected, respected, valued and healthy enough to deliver the best version of yourself, when it is truly time to lean forward and give?” I asked. He responded, “Absolutely!”
My response, “Ok, here is what I’ve learned from working at JPI…”
- Create a routine to plan your giving in advance so you’re not caught off guard and end up overstretching what you can give. This applies to time, money, emotions, resources, etc.
- Don’t give from obligation, shame, guilt, for praise or gain.
- Don’t put your health or wealth at risk
- Know when to simply say “No”
- Set a Healthy Boundary with the top 3 people you spend time with such as: How much time you spend going to their choice of place. How much you drive your car instead of theirs. How much money you are going to spend when you’re with them. Whatever area you feel like you are running thin with that person, set a limit and stick to it for 2 weeks straight. After that 2 week period, adjust if needed or continue.
I then asked him, “Were these folks in your previous relationships Givers, themselves, when you initially met them? Like, did they give to you by helping with the chores, cooking, doing things you liked as well, showing concern or a want to make you happy?” He replied, “Yes. All 3 were that way in the beginning.” Then he sat back with a concerned puzzled look…
“Did I turn them into a Taker?” he asked with a concerned look. I quickly responded, “You need to understand one thing man. Giver or Taker is a choice; an individual’s choice they make on their own, every day. Giver or Taker is also not static. There is no such thing as ‘Once a Taker, always a Taker’. We have a choice as to which one we are going to be in any given situation. Unfortunately, they chose to be Takers while you were choosing to be a Giver. With some self-awareness and some guidance, they can choose to step out of the Dark Side and become a Jedi Giver, like you are my friend but it’s up to them.”
“You are acting in your gift as a Giver. Stay with it. Now that you’ve discovered this about yourself, what should you do next? What’s your next step?”, I asked him. He responded with, “Set some Healthy Boundaries to protect myself and deliver the best healthy version of myself when I do meet that right person.” I excitedly responded with, “Exactly bro!”
There are times when all Givers have been taken for granted and experienced hurt on some level. I’m sure you can think of a time, very vividly, in your past when you were taken advantage of or Giving yourself thin. It’s very important for you to know that giving at a healthy level is good, it’ what breathes positive into our world, and there are still tons of us out there.
If you have been hurt in the past from healthy giving, don’t lose hope. It is natural to want to protect yourself and build walls. Healthy Boundaries are not walls; they are personal limitations. Walls can turn into resentment, bitterness and anger. Many times the Takers in our lives don’t realize they are stuck in a Taker’s trap. Your new Healthy Boundaries will shine some light on that for them, and can help break them out of this trap. Healthy Boundaries guide you in becoming the very best version of yourself. Be patient and continue to give, just within your set boundaries. After all, Giving is your gift!
To learn more about building quality relationships and starting your own journey to personal transformation and becoming the best version of YOU, you want to be a part of Transform U Online. You can take a one day test drive at www.transformuonline.com/oneday.