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Excerpt
The following is an excerpt from the book The MomsTown Guide to Getting It All
by Mary Goulet and Heather Reider
Published by Hyperion; August 2005;$15.95US/$20.00CAN; 1-4013-0787-6
Copyright © 2005 Mary Goulet and Heather Reider

Imbalance of the Giver/Taker

We all have potential to give and to take. Let's assess which you do more of. Answer the following questions.

Do you feel your husband takes more than he gives?
Do you find yourself unable to keep up with the requests your kids, husband, and family make of you?
Which relationships enrich your life? Which relationships take from you?
Are your kids in the habit of helping and giving to the daily routine?
Do your friends give you support? Do they encourage you to succeed or to follow your passions? Do they create drama and need-based requests that take your energy?
In conversations with your family and friends, does the talking seem to be fifty-fifty?
Do you tend to listen more than talk, or do you dominate the conversation with your own talking?

The good news about the give/take balance is that it is up to you. You can change the way you engage with people accordingly. You are the only one you can control. Figuring out who in your life is a giver and who is a taker is the next step in gaining control of your relationships.

Stay at Homework: List your six closest relationships. You can add more if you like. List each person and loosely categorize him or her as a Giver, a Taker, or a person with whom you have a good balance. If a person currently gives or currently takes but you think he or she has the potential to balance, note that as well.

Do you have a girlfriend who constantly calls with an "emergency" and needs you to drop everything to hear her side of the story? When you call for her support, is she too busy with her life to give you the time of day? If you have this kind of relationship in your life, distance yourself from it. Moms are too busy to tolerate unbalanced friendships; we need friends who give back as much as they take. One of our moms, Taneisha, says, "Once I looked at who was always taking my time but not really giving me much back, I realized I had a couple of friends I didn't want in my life anymore. It was simply a matter of looking at patterns of behavior I had fallen into with these women. They would call and I would drop everything in order to help them, until their next drama. I might be in the middle of a hectic schedule, but no matter what, their crisis was always deemed more important. When I would have problems and need support, they would scarcely acknowledge it. I was able to see this clearly when I looked at everyone in terms of Givers and Takers. In these terms, I also found a way to balance my relationship with my husband. After evaluating it, I realized I had put myself in a position where I never really told him what I wanted but always asked what he wanted. I have since begun telling him what I'd like to give and what I would like him to give and we've established a much more balanced relationship."

As you become more in tune with the support you give and receive, try to pinpoint those relationships that are balanced in your life as opposed to those that are not. You will achieve your goals more easily when interacting with people who add to the quality of your life.

Copyright © 2005 Mary Goulet and Heather Reider

Excerpted from MOMSTOWN GUIDE TO GETTING IT ALL by Mary Goulet and Heather Reider. Published by Hyperion. Copyright (c) 2005 Mary Goulet-Rendler, Heather Reider. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.