In dating and relationships it can be hard to recognize toxic people. One way to do it is to try and determine whether inside they are a giver or a taker.
The Toxic Person – The Taker
There is a type of person who takes and only lets people take from him when he has no choice. This is the one possessed by the power of taking.
His taking arises from self-love; he wants only to take and would much prefer not to give at all. If anything is taken from him this is only because he is unable to prevent it.
The taker wants only to draw to himself as much as he can, whether by robbery, deceit or other ways of “getting something for nothing”. In his heart of hearts he believes that everything is his, everything and everyone are there for his sake. When he receives some favor from his friend he consequently does not feel any obligation to repay it. He takes it for granted that people should do things for him. He is thus by nature ungrateful.
You may find a “taker” expressing thanks, sometimes even very beautifully. But don’t you trust him or his thanks. Gratitude may be on his lips but it is not in his heart. He is quite prepared to cover himself in the cloak of gratitude, knowing that this may assist him to obtain further favors and gifts in the future. It becomes clear therefore that his “gratitude” is also “taking,” since this is its object.
The Good Person – The Giver
There is another person: one who gives and receives. He is the giver, whose giving flows from the source of pure goodness in his heart, and whose receiving immediately fills his heart with gratitude—in payment for whatever he receives.
The giver feels profoundly that he must reject “free gifts.” The desire of his being is to give, not to draw to himself things that are outside him. Consequently when he does receive anything from anyone else he is immediately prompted to give something equivalent in return. If he is unable to do this in kind, his heart urges him to repay by giving happiness to that person by way of thanks and appreciation.
A World of Takers and Givers
Both types—the giver and the taker—in fact pay for what they get in the majority of cases. The difference is that the giver does not want to take anything without payment, and at the very least he pays by sincere thanks and appreciation. On the other hand, the taker does not want to pay anything; he pays only because he has to, realizing that without payment he is not likely to get what he wants.
It follows that the person in whom the power of giving is operative, and who never receives any favor without payment by way of grateful appreciation, will never fall prey to the power of taking, however much he may receive from others.
The corrupted world is a world of takers whose aim is to use, despoil and exploit each other as much as they can. This is the social system in which jealousy, greed and competitiveness reign and which inevitably leads to war, murder, robbery and misery.
But the perfected world is one where every person without exception gives to and benefits others, and whose heart overflows with gratitude for what he receives from others. A human society such as this is the perfect and happy society, overflowing with peace and love the society in which God delights.
R. Eliyahu Dessler