Updated: Jun 15
In this world, there are takers and users. What both groups have in common is sometimes they overdo it and bypass giving back or receiving. The users need things and don't mind utilizing those in their circles. The givers are those in the circle that try to ease people's burdens and lend a helping hand.
The issue I am having with this subject is the new labels have bestowed on the givers. The givers are categorized as "strong people." It's considered strong to give all you got even if it costs every piece of you. I find it odd that the takers are...well...still the takers and there was not a fancy character trait relabeling for them. Maybe this is because if we call the givers "strong" that will encourage them to continue giving. *Disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with giving as long as you remember to give to yourself. The irony of the "strong person" theory is when a person fails to pour into them it evitably will make them the opposite of strong.
We play a role in people's lives as either the giver or taker but, I believe there must be a balance between giving and taking to make the relationship work. I was once told by my lovely cousin, that some people's purpose is to be a giver without reciprocation and; that God will make sure it is received elsewhere. That is the advice I thrive from, however, I am still irritated by the connotation of labeling this group of people as strong.
Tell 'em Why You Mad Son!
This irritation derived from this here meme
A strong friend is characterized as a person that looks out for everyone. That is your go-to person when life is kicking you down. They rarely ask for anything in return and probably for the most part never share what is going on with them. I don't think this happens because they are not strong; I think this happens because sometimes people fail to ask. How many times has someone called you and did not ask you how you were doing? Or if they did, once you said "fine," the next thing out of their mouth is their situation?
Circling back to the meme, I get irritated by this phrase, because why does a person have to be reminded to check on the person that supports them? Why is it not automatic that a person would be interested in the person that looks out for them? If this person is the "strong" person in your life, why not check on them as frequently as you dump on them?
Most "strong" people have to find inner strength. They don't complain to you but believe they are affected. Over time it minimizes their existence to solely being a tool for all those around them. They have accepted this purpose, but, deep-down they have their desires. These remain desires because they put their desires' on hold to make sure their circle is ok. They are inadvertently never given a break from this exhausting role, which could gradually cause depression or feelings of inadequacy.
When the severe mental breakdown becomes noticeable, that is when they are "checked on." My opinion is this check-up is derived from the mere fact the giver has run out of things to give. When I am referring to giving, I don't just mean tangible things. Givers give their energy, wisdom, time, talents, and sometimes their essence to the people they love. So, when the giver can no longer give, that is when their emptiness is detected.
My Ode to the "Strong" Ones
Firstly, I am a person that despises labels, because we all have strengths and vulnerabilities. There is no one person stronger than the other; we are all human. In this current superhero era, we believe that we are strong if we are handling our business 24/7 without dealing with our emotions or situations. Due to this facade, those around us also believe we're ironclad; and think nothing of asking us about our mental state.
For the record in balanced relationships, you can expect to always be checked on. For those in our life that are excessive takers, it may take a minute for them to realize. I would add that some takers are not aware of how much they take. And some feel they have nothing to give. The reality is concern costs nothing.
Givers, you have the power to realize you are a person. Meaning, you are not a hammer or a wrench whose sole purpose is to be recognized only when it needs to be used. You have the right to sometimes give to yourself and speak up when you need to be heard. You have the right to say "no" if you are not up for giving to others at the moment.
You have the right to use your God-given talents to invest in yourself. It is not a strange feeling to be supported on the same level you support others. A share and a mention cost nothing to anyone. You deserve to have a say in your life when you want to give. And I encourage you to not give so much of yourself where you have nothing left over for you. Always keep some residual to yourself. I am not promoting excommunicating from your takers, but I am encouraging finding a circle where there is a balance of giving and taking.
The natural flow in a relationship is we benefit from others but, we have to make sure they are also benefiting from us. If you need to talk to someone; it is never weak to reach out to someone. Just like you hear others, you also need to be heard. You are also important. Most importantly, you are also a person.