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Evaluating Exchange and Discerning Give and Take

Every relationship we enter is founded in the experience of #exchange. #Witnessing and #discerning what feels fulfilling about the exchange is essential for the perpetuation of that exchange. In many scenarios, exchange may be objectively perceived as imbalanced due to the roles each person takes on. This does not mean the exchange is unfulfilling if those within it prefer to have an imbalance of #power in what is given and what is taken, as a trade-off for what each person #values most. This imbalance of power most often perpetuates in co-dependent relationships or for individuals lacking self-direction and self-reliance that seek #independent and ambitious individuals to support them mentally, emotionally, physically, and/or financially. As #emotions shift in life circumstances the subjective experience of exchange can be confusing, misinterpreted, or strained by demand. The stereotypical “givers and takers” exist but there are very clear ways in which they behave. The perceived #balance of exchange in any #relationship will be challenged as life circumstances request different kinds of support from both individuals. Every individual wants to feel value in what they bring to relationship and what they receive from it.

The search for #mutuality and a #BalanceOfPower in relationship is discerned through the behaviors of #reciprocation, #communication, and #accountability with #agreements. Truly honoring an exchange is founded in the #acknowledgment for what one is #giving and #receiving. Communicating the #appreciation for this is confirmation of value in what each person has to offer. One should only give what they want to give as well as being honest with themselves and others when it comes to #expectations or needs in return. This clarifies and reduces the frequency of misperception and #disillusionment that can occur in the capricious applications of perception and the fluidity of emotions that arise in differing life circumstances.

The act of #giving is inherently a fulfilling experience for the heart and mind. Most individuals feel #gratification when they give to others and see or feel #appreciation in return. It is an automatic feeling of being accepted, acknowledged, and valued for the person perceiving what they have given when it is received by another. Yet, the person #receiving may value the #offering more or less then the person giving it and although there is no definitive way to influence the #value of what was given to the receiver, clearly stated #intentions or #requests by the giver about what has been given can open a path to understanding the value of the #exchange for both individuals. Many people who enjoy giving will say they do not require anything in return, even if they do want or require the most basic acknowledgment and appreciation vocally from the receiver or via reciprocation at another time in the relationship. Does true #altruism exist? This question has been an ongoing discussion in the realm of psychology. Everyone benefits and receives #esteem from being valued for who they perceive themselves to be and what they perceive they give to others.

How capable are you of giving without receiving acknowledgment or the confirmation from others of who you are by what you give? Are you capable of still giving to others and only being the one to acknowledge and feel confirmation of who you are to yourself? This skill is necessary in times of confusion, disregard, and feeling devalued by others. To utilize it effectively requires a sense of #accountability and #worthiness, integrated by #compassion for self and others through #objectivity, in order to accurately review the present #conflict about an exchange and the historical evidence of exchange founded in the relationship roles and agreements. If valuing oneself has become the only focus in a moment that one feels a lack of appreciation or reciprocation, #SelfEntitlement may lead to #SelfSabotage especially if the other individual is not truly a “taker” stereotype and #misperceptions are ruling one’s ego to safeguard worthiness.

The #GiveAndTake between self and others are a part of #bonding through service to each other and to the relationship. A #HealthyExchange that is tended to frequently, through #devotion to the bond shared, enables the possibility of #InterdependentRelationship. Clarity and accountability for the agreements we make and roles we take on in relationship is essential for founding and evolving that relationship out of separateness from independent attitudes or power conflicts that arise from #CoDependent behaviors. True devotion is not #CoDependency. Devotion requires active choosing to give and share with another and #gratitude for those moments is the hallmark of devotions’ offering for all involved. Healthy devotion from an open heart for self and other has the power to #heal, #uplift, and continually return us to the light of our #AuthenticSelf. Devotion to self and devotion to other is a choice we make every day. Devotion is continually created between those who seek to honor and acknowledge one another with gratitude, no matter the confusion, hardship, and conflicts that unfold in #HumanPerception when pursuing understanding and navigating what we agree to. Seeking the #values of interdependence when creating and #discerning exchange in relationships engages deeper layers of #fulfillment in an individual and society, collectively.

The #stereotypes of “giver” and “taker” become more valid and applicable during times of #destabilization in an individual’s life and in societal constructs. This is when the basic drives for #survival and clinging to what one #fears will be scarce or has already been lost consume perceptions of an experience. The formative elements of a personality are brought forth in the highest periods of #stress endured in an individual’s life or a community experiencing #disaster. Some come together to #HelpOthers and #HelpEachOther, while others isolate and refuse to take part with a focus on helping themselves. Throughout life, people may move back and forth between the #identities of giver and taker. However, some will find it hard to admit they are a taker if they are in fact, only a taker. Most good-natured people that seek #HealthyExchange will admit when they feel they have been more on the receiving end. These same people will often attempt to reciprocate, so they feel good about #receiving. It is important that #TheGiver be open to receiving and allow these opportunities for #reciprocation to #nurture a bond of #interdependence.

When weighing the balance of #GiveAndTake in #relationship, one’s foundational perspective of themselves in life will dictate what they can or will acknowledge for what they and others have given. People who feel like they never have enough or that the “anonymous they” in the world owe them will always focus more on what they are giving and what others are taking. It is common to disregard what they are receiving in exchange from others when they are only focused on the void within that feels unquenchable. People who feel like they are always giving without receiving much in return may be unable to see how they have not placed #ProperBoundary with self when feeling #compelled to give, especially if they have an alternate #agenda for #expectations to be met as a part of an exchange that have not been communicated. People who tend to give a lot and feel an imbalance in return must ask themselves if they are truly open to receiving, as well as capable of asking for what they need or want to feel a balanced exchange. They must also reflect on whether they value what another has to offer in exchange to reach fulfillment. Then, they must create #opportunities for that fulfillment to occur. True “taker” stereotypes take what they can with minimal acknowledgment for those sharing with them and will not openly offer anything in exchange. True takers express or exhibit #entitled statements and attitudes. The “giver” stereotype gives without concern for what they are getting in return. They may be the self-sacrificial doormats of relationship and society or they may be the unconditionally loving sage that trusts what they give is in service to the highest good. They may feel undeserving of gifts or they may have resilience in their cycle of self-appreciation and #esteem by valuing themselves through what they see their #gifts produce for another or society.

Most people enter #relationship conditionally and have #WantsAndNeeds they bring to the exchange. There are many ways to give and to receive that are #valuable in the exchange of relationship for #SharedFulfillment in the outcomes of life experiences. When life #changes, the balance of give and take in relationships may change as well. It is up to all involved to pursue #clarity for #conflicts that occur around give and take in relationship. If the goal is to #sustain a sense of value for that relationship this may be accomplished through #CompassionateCommunication, #accountability, and refined agreements.

Step into the center of yourself when a sense of lack arises. Acknowledge the values you hold most dear and the experience of gratitude for self and other that founded the bond and desire for exchange. Be honest in what you have to give and want to receive. Seek creative solutions that bring healing through closure or opportunities for renewed devotion.

Excerpts from the Writings of Julie Hightman

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