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September 17, 2014

How to Love a Person Who Gives (too Much).

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We all know and love these people, the ones who give too much.

The ones who make us chicken soup when we’re sick, the ones who do our dishes for us, our grocery shopping.

The ones who give us a back rub when we’re feeling down, give us a listening ear any damn time we ask.

Some people just really like to give.

And why shouldn’t they?

Giving feels really good. For some people giving feels much better then receiving.

Accepting generosity from others can be a very vulnerable experience for some people, much more difficult than offering generosity. So they give—and mostly they like it.

Does this sound familiar? Do you have someone in your life who gives too much?

Well, if you do then count yourself lucky. Givers are great people to have by your side.

But it is true that they can also be frustrating. It can be guilt provoking to have a giver in our lives who easily give so much. At times we can feel like we have taken more than our share and don’t know how we will ever return the favors.

And it can frustrating to watch the givers in our lives take care of everyone else instead of themselves.

But just like everyone, the givers’ idiosyncrasies need to be respected. A love of giving to others? This isn’t something we want to get rid of.

But we also need to ensure that the givers in our lives are also getting some lovin’ too, if you know what I mean. This is where the balance lies when you have someone in your life who you love who loves to give.

Givers need to be able to give. Giving gives them purpose, makes them feel valuable— really for a giver giving is a form of creative and intuitive expression. So, let the giving flow.

But not so much that the giver themselves gets forgotten.

Here are four things to keep in mind when loving up someone who gives too much:

1. Show Your Gratitude

Did they make you dinner? Fold your laundry? Listen to your woes about work or relationships?

More importantly, did you like it?

If you did then let them know.

Why are they giving so much? Yes, maybe it is because they have some self-esteem issues and find it easier to focus on others. This could possibly be true. But they are also giving so much because they love you and care about you and want to see you happy.

So, if the giver in your life helped make you happy let them know. It will make their day.

2. Give Back

Okay, let’s be honest—it can be pretty hard to compete with a natural giver.

They are really good at what they do. They know just how to choose the right gift, make your favorite meal and say the right thing when you need to hear it. And maybe this doesn’t come as naturally to you, maybe it isn’t that easy for you to know what to do for them in return.

But really?

So what?

Giving back is much more important than any lame excuse you can come up with for not giving back to the giver in your life because in all relationships it’s really important for all parties involved to be showing that they care.

So, this is your chance to dig deep and think about what the giver in your life likes—what do they enjoy? Reflect on this and then make an effort to give back and you know what?

I’ll bet you like it. This is one of the great things you can learn from the giver in your life. Giving feels good- that is why they do it so much.

3. Say No Sometimes

This is where the too much comes in. Sometimes people just don’t know when to stop. What is that expression about too much of a good thing? Giving is great- but too much- well, it’s just that, too much.

Sometimes givers need someone to help them to set boundaries. We can encourage the givers that we love to sit down and leave the dishes for someone else or tell them that they don’t have to make dinner tonight.

Yes, this might be uncomfortable for you and for the giver. Yes, the giver might insist they want to do things for you even when you suggest they can stop. But oh well, that is just part of the process of giving back. It might be a little messy— but messy can be good.

We all need help and support sometimes and people who give too much might need it most of all.

4. Encourage Them to Give to Themselves

I know this might sound crazy but giving to other people can be addictive. I mean it feels really good to give and who doesn’t want to feel good?

But unfortunately, some people who are good at giving to others aren’t so hot on doing things for themselves, therefore, a little encouragement can go a long way. Maybe the giver should really book them self a massage, or maybe they need a little vacation.

Tell the giver that they deserve it, that their needs and their health and happiness are just as important as everyone else’s. You might need to say it more than once and this might be uncomfortable for the giver to hear. But what the giver knows, and what the rest of us need to learn, is that giving is not about thinking about what you want, it is about thinking about what is best for the other.

So, let me be so bold here as to suggest that this is exactly what needs to happen. Do you love someone who gives too much?

Then it is time to give some consideration to what their needs are and see what you can do to give back.

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Cayden Marie at Pixoto

 

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