Posted in Life

Moths and Flames: givers and takers

Like a moth to a flame, giving and nurturing people are attracted to non reciprocal takers. Their nature of giving and nurturing people compels them to give and nurture others – particularly those who seem to need it most. Unfortunately, takers are like a black hole and tend to be insatiable – particularly when they are getting what they want and are being nurtured regularly.

For a time, this dynamic may work because the needs of both parties are being met. Givers feel fulfilled because they are needed and takers are getting what they want. It’s all good; until it’s not. This mutual fulfillment is unsustainable long term because the nature of relationships is a give and take. If there is no reciprocation, sooner or later, resentment emerges and the cracks begin to show.

Hang on or Let go?

Once cracks are prevalent, the giver scrambles to fill them by giving more. The taker continues to take what is offered without reciprocation. The giver gives even more and the taker takes even more. Resentment grows to exponential proportions because the giver begins to give with a side of lamentation while the taker takes and rebukes the giver. Like a gambler, the giver may give *even more with hopes and expectations of a large display of reciprocation (or acknowledgement) to no avail until the giver asks themselves, “do I stay or do I go?”

While the answer may seem cut and dry to some, to others, after having had invested so much for so long and still grasping on to the hope that things will come around, it’s not so clear. Then they find themselves on a toxic hamster wheel heading nowhere fast.

Nothing is worth holding onto if only one party making the effort. A relationship cannot be carried by one person alone. It’s important to be brutally honest about the situation at hand and if there is no benefit and the only outcome is frustration and pain, it letting go may be the only way to hang onto oneself.