Transcend and Include ‘Give and Take’


For all the advice to improve getting along with others through ‘Give and Take,’ why aren’t we getting along better? Why is it there seems to be an actual increase in people not getting along?

Paradoxically, although it makes sense in theory, in practice ‘Give and Take’ is one-sided. Too often the ‘Giver’ picks what they’re willing to give, and then they pick what they want to take from the other.

Meanwhile, the ‘Receiver,’ the other party is doing the same. No wonder there’s unhappiness and hurt feelings; we’re not connecting with each other. We’re feeling puzzled; we think we’re being nice, meeting the other half-way yet it’s getting us nowhere.

Frequently, there’s a strong sense of dissatisfaction, separation and concluding that since this obviously isn’t working, despite our best efforts, perhaps we need to look for someone who does understand us.

But, before going there, let‘s consider a nuanced change, from ‘Give and Take’ to ‘Give and Receive.’ On the surface, this may seem to be only playing with words, but it’s not. It is a complete change in our control and focus.

Focusing on: (1) What we want to give the other instead of on defending or protecting what they want to take; and (2) On communicating what it is we want to receive. Open dialogue, more comfortable, balanced, and far more satisfying; leading to allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in asking for what we want as opposed to guessing. Dialogue. Connection and Vulnerability, the stepping-stones to intimacy, follows.

‘Give and Take’ is unbalanced, both ‘Give’ and ‘Take’ are projections out, while ‘Give and Receive’ are balanced with an outward and an inward movement, meeting in the middle.

2 comments… add one
  • uplifterone Jun 20, 2015

    In our workshop the first question we have our participants ask themselves ( in this will apply for all areas of communication and human interaction) is; “Do I want to have, create or promote harmony or “Be” right?

  • Joe Murphy Jun 27, 2015

    Uplifterone, you nailed it.

    It’s almost funny how sneaky (and quickly) we often lose sight of our heart’s overarching desire – connection with harmony and love – only to get sidetracked with triumphing the other by being ‘Right’ and in the process we lose sight of what’s important to us.

    Thank you for your comment. Will you expand on what you do in your workshop?