Are You Playing the ‘Giving to Get’ Game in Relationships?
Is this you? Are you doing kind things over and over for others in order to get love?
This subconscious (and dysfunctional) relationship tactic might go something like: “If I give you this (or do this for you) then you’ll give me love (or treat me like I’m important/worthwhile).” And it’s destined for disaster.
Giving with an expectation of getting something in return is a common game we play on ourselves and in relationships.
Reciprocity (give and take) is built on the concept of mutuality; with both people participating. But when you’re playing the “giving to get” game, it’s far from mutual. The game is born out of a feeling of lack, and it ends in emotional pain. That lack is that you might feel needy, unimportant, not “good enough,” unlovable or unworthy exactly as you are.
In a “giving to get” cycle, one person ends up doing most of the giving, the niceties and forgiving while the other person is on the receiving end of all that kindness. Whether or not they asked for it.
In your mind you may think “they ought to love me, after all I’ve done.” You may not even know you do this, you may just wonder why you’ve ended up disappointed in relationships. “After all I’ve done for you, how can you treat me this way?”
May I gently remind you: it was your choice to do all that doing, no one made you do it. But the consequences remain that you may have given all of yourself to someone who wasn’t giving the same back.
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8 Ways to Get Over ‘Giving to Get’ and Find Love
Recently I wrote the article Are You Playing the ‘Giving to Get’ Game in Relationships? about a tactic some of us unconsciously use in relationships.
What is it? It’s an unhealthy way we act in relationships if we believe we have to do something in order to earn the love of others. It’s ‘giving to get’ something in return; an expectation of being loved or cared for if you do the right thing or say the right things or act the right way. It’s a basic belief in conditional love.
Why do you need to stop it? It’s a set up for disaster. It leaves you disappointed and feeling taken for granted while you are angry at the other person for doing all the taking. But you set it up that way: you did all the giving.
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Does Your Breakup Have to Stay Angry?
I’d like to show you how to move past breakup anger and get on with your life.
When we date, we all start with hope.
We hope for an amazing relationship. We hope for a future filled with the best of both of us. We imagine all the fun and exciting things we’ll do. We hope things will work out and they’ll be our Plus One. We hope we’ve made a great choice and this is a relationship we can grow together in for the long haul. Possibly even leading to marriage, if that’s on the table. (And if it’s not a relationship that’s destined for marriage, then we hope for an amazing relationship all the same.)
There are many stages/types of relationships: there’s the Texting/Flirt stage. The Hook-Up; the “We’re Just Dating”/”One of Several” stage; the ‘Secretly’ Dating where you tell no one stage, the New Relationship, the Monogamous/Exclusive Relationship, the Boyfriend/Girlfriend, and the Partnership Track (living together, promised (is that still a thing?), engaged to be engaged, etc).
But what happens if/when it doesn’t work out? Keep Reading →
What Roles Do You Play?
Husband. Father. Son. Friend. Colleague (or boss). Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Co-worker. I look at what it takes to succeed in the roles you play in life.
How many different roles do you have? Have you ever sat down and counted them? I did, and here are some of mine: business owner/entrepreneur. Woman. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Abolitionist. Boss. Patient. Client. Warrior. Instructor. Coach. Neighbor. Writer. Speaker. Brain injury survivor. Martial arts master. Author/writer. Ex-wife. Positivist.
I invite you to think about it for a second—how many roles do you have? And have you ever stopped to ask what it takes to succeed in your roles? Keep Reading →