Givers &Takers in relationships

Extensive research by Dr Robert Moss has discovered some people are driven to be perceived as good people (Givers) and some others seem to be needing attention and appreciation (Takers).  If you are in a relationship with a giver or taker you will have to learn how to adapt to their needs in order to improve your relationship.   Having a few sessions of relationship counselling will help you to assess what is actually happening in your relationship and help you to attain healthier interactions, feel good about being with your partner, and find you are able to get your needs met, especially if you are dealing with a giver or a taker.

Givers  define for themselves what it means to be a good person, but will have  clearly defined rules, and will tend to be more domineering. While the rules are primarily for their own behavior, in some cases they will evaluate others by these same rules. However, do not expect anyone else do something they do not do themselves.  They tend to seek social acceptance and do not like to feel like a bad person.  They will try to avoid negative interpersonal interactions.  They will tend to have a strong work ethic.  At work they may be quite conscientious on the job, and will progress quickly.  However the high level of performance will be increased to meet their own inner standards.  They are driven by guilt and thus will not confront co-workers as this may mean they are perceived as a "bad person".  They will prefer to work alone or be in control of that work so that they feel very accomplished.  They do not like being told how they should be doing something, as that would leave no satisfaction for them, and may be done out of responsibility. They like to be the best, so will back off if someone else can handle a situation better.  They do not like feeling inferior in skill.  This can mean that a giver parent will back off leaving the other parent who may be perceived as better than them at parenting, to do that role.  Activities such as extramarital affairs are engaged only where the giver can feel appreciated and desired.  They will not want to be seen as a bad person, so will try hard to cover it up.  Excessive substance abuse can happen, as they can be the "functional alcoholics".  Their work ethic pushes them to continue working and continue to be seen as a "good person".  Usually they are pleasant.  There are levels of submissiveness within this type which may make them compliant and less likely to voice opinions.  The less submissive types will defend the perception of themselves as being right.  They do like to hold onto ideals and rules during conflict, and if unavoidable may lose temper when they are feeling that they are a "bad person" and may actually change their rules if proven wrong. They have difficulty receiving and accepting favors from others.  They may be harsh parents as they can stick to rules, and may avoid the home environment and their children can feel abandoned.

Takers - These individuals experience positive feelings in relationships by taking power, control, attention and/or things, and negative emotions when having to give at their own expense. Therefore, they give only if something more desirable can be obtained or maintained. Desiring attention more than anything else, takers may be willing to give up direct power and control. In such a case, this person may be very dependent and whiny, often being in the position of engaging in behaviors that would logically appear very maladaptive. The opposite case is one who desires power and control more than attention and therefore may be willing to let others receive the attention publicly as long as he or she can “pull the strings.”  They may initially appear to be attractive to meet the expectations of others and draw people in, and make them feel good.  But they become more and more demanding.  The need to be in control and want to get their way as they felt cheated in the past.  They get angry when they can't control people around them, and can use anger as it shocks others, so that they get what they want, which is to stop them feeling let down. They become cold if the anger does not work.  Then they become very nice, forming a pattern: 1. blow up; 2. be cold; 3. be nice.  The nice person does not remain.  They are very inconsistent, and do not use logical reasoning.  It is useless to use logic in an arguement with them.  They use very selective memory and change the story to manipulate facts.  They use broadsiding tactics for winning and gaining power.  They find faults in others to feel better themselves.  They will suit their thinking to a situation.  Prone to extremes, "if a little is good, a lot will be very good" reasoning, will bring on alcoholism or being right/complaining.  They like being the centre of attention and feel cheated in life and blame others.  They will have a worse problem than you.

For further information on the research Dr Moss at:

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