A few weeks ago, I was on a night out with a few friends. If you are a parent, you can understand how rare and an important form of self-nourishment these night outs can be. This night for me also happened to be one of those days where you feel like it’s probably best to be holed in and not socialize. I was feeling off and edgy as a result. 

Few minutes into the night, I realized that I haven’t been the best version of myself. After a series of events that transpired at the beginning of the night I found myself saying things I normally wouldn’t have and not being as empathetic to a long term friend who could have used more kindness from me. We still managed to end the night with heart-felt conversations and parted. 

The incident made me question the type of friend I was. Was I a giver or receiver? I define a giver as someone who is able to listen and just be there. A receiver is someone who might be at a vulnerable point in life and need someone they can talk to and depend on. 

During this process of self-reflection I realized that you can be both a giver and a receiver at various points in your life given the situation at that time. Your personality may be of a giver in general but life’s ups and down can turn you into a receiver without you knowing!

You may also be a receiver to some friends but a giver to others. That night I showed up as a receiver. I needed to be around people who know me in and out and who would lift my spirits up. When you show up as a receiver among people who are also in that stage in life, it doesn’t have the result you would hope for. 

This experience was a lesson in self-awareness for me. For being able to reflect how I am feeling on a given day and make choices accordingly. When making new connections, we may want to ask ourselves what mode the other person is in. If you have the insight that tells you their current state, you may be able to make lasting connections and have fulfilling relationships. 

Looking back, I felt I couldn’t connect with a few friends in life because we were in similar stages in life. If I had the awareness and insight I think I would have shown up differently. 

A Few Parting thoughts:

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

People switch roles in their relationships over time. A friend who was always a receiver might become a giver due to their own personal growth and journey in life. 

Put the time and energy to invest in people. Deepen your relationships with your family with intuition and self-awareness. 

Humans cannot be empathetic to others when they are going through difficult situations themselves. Know where you stand and surround yourself with the right support. 

Practice self care and prioritize your needs. That doesn’t necessarily make you selfish, it instead helps you recharge and allows for the inner joy within you to radiate so you are naturally available to others. 

I hope this resonates with your experience in your personal relationships. Would love to hear your thoughts on if you think you are a giver or receiver now. 

Originally published on https://shilpakapilavai.com/