This is always a fun topic since we’re constantly interacting with others in this world. In most situations there is technically a giver and a taker and sometimes we’re a giver in one way and a taker in another within the same situation. There’s nothing wrong with being a giver or a taker depending on the circumstances…this is what makes the world go round. Everything is cyclical, giving and receiving. The problem comes when we do it in an unhealthy way.

We are responsible for our own happiness, we are responsible for our own lives and therefore we have to be responsible for what we give without putting that responsibility on the taker and then wondering why they take too much. In short…the giver has to set the limits, not the taker.

To understand this, let’s look at the scenario using money. If someone you loved came up to you and said: “I’m really in a difficult position financially and could really use your help”. And you replied: “I understand, we all run into difficult times at some point, and fortunately I’m in a position to help so here is my debit card. Please return it once you’ve done what you need to to take care of the situation”. A couple weeks goes by and you get a notice that your account is overdrawn and bills aren’t getting paid because there’s no money in your bank account.

Whose fault is this? Most people that are honest with themselves can look at this and think: I should’ve set a limit on how much I allowed them to take, I should have at least let them know what my account balance was so they knew not to take too much. This is fairly common sense. How is someone supposed to know how much they can take if you don’t tell them???

Unfortunately, many times we don’t do this with finances. We keep giving and giving and never say no…then blame the person that’s taking. We also do this with our emotional energy and very often with our time. It’s time to understand that we have to set the limits. There is a balance in our financial, emotional and time accounts and it is our responsibility to not over-give.

We never tell anyone what our balance is and then wonder why they keep taking. Sometimes we tell people what our balance is and they don’t care because they’re not used to looking out for themselves, let alone other people…that’s okay…the problem is NOT them asking. People have the right to ask for whatever they want. It is our responsibility to take care of our own balances and say “no” if we don’t have it to give or if we see it’s not being used in a responsible way.

This is imperative if we want to have a happy life. We have to be responsible for it. We need to stop playing the martyr to feel like we’re good people and then blame others for draining our account balances. We have to stop throwing good money after bad. If someone shows you that they won’t get their life together even after you help them…believe them! If someone shows you who they are…believe them! Why would they change if what they’re doing is working for them? And I mean working for them in the way that they want, not in the way that you would want for them.

If we don’t have the emotional capability to be there for someone, we have to be honest about it. Sometimes we’re going through our own stuff and simply can’t do it. This happens when in the process of grieving a loss sometimes. We also have to be aware of our time balance. Running around like a nut and blaming everyone else for “making” you do that is irresponsible. It’s your time, there’s only so much you can do and it’s your responsibility to set the limits.

Take control over your life and set the limits on what you give. It’s no one else’s responsibility but yours, simply because no one else knows your balance. They’re busy with their own lives and their own accounts, living life from their perspectives. Understanding you’ve been irresponsible with your giving can sting a little but the empowerment you receive by accepting the responsibility for your own life and balances is sooooo worth it!!!