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S1 EP43 – Relationship Gremlins: Takers and Caretakers

Episode Summary

Do you believe that you or others are being selfish if they take loving care of themselves instead of taking care of you? Are you sometimes giving and caring to another and then wonder why your caring isn’t appreciated? Are you a taker or a caretaker? Discover how the caretaker-taker relationship system is often the underlying cause of relationship problems, and what you can do to heal both yourself and your relationship. 


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the inner bonding Podcast. And today I Want to talk about a very common issue in relationships, which is the relationship gremlins have takers and caretakers. So takers and caretakers often seem to find each other as an inner bonding facilitator. Who’s worked with relationships for so many years. I can tell you that this is the most frequent relationship dynamic that I encounter. Takers are people Who tend to exhibit various aspects of narcissism.

That is they tend to be self-centered with an excessive need for attention and admiration. The taker attempts to control, getting love and attention and approval or sex from others. With controlling behavior, overtly controlling behaviors, which is anger and blame and violence and, and criticism and irritation and righteousness and neediness and invasive touch and invasive energy or incessant talking, emotional drama, or even on the more covert level, Being extra nice acting extra nice to take her Is many forms of both overt and covert control to get the attention that he or she wants.

Now takers not only one, a lot of control, but they’re often afraid of being controlled and become overly or covertly resistant to doing what someone else wants them to do. The taker might resist with denial and defending procrastination, rebellion, being irresponsible, being indifferent, withdrawing, I’m just going dead, going numb, getting rigid or acting in class Competent. Interrelationship takers Generally operate from the belief that you are responsible for my feelings of pain and joy. It’s your job to make sure that I’m okay.

Now caretakers on the other hand, Operate from the belief that, yeah, I am responsible for your feelings and when I do it right, then you’ll be happy. And then I will receive the love approval and attention. I Need caretakers Tend to sacrifice their own needs and their own wants to take care of the needs and wants of others. Even when others are capable of doing it for themselves, Caretakers give to others from fear Rather than from love. They give in order to get love and approval or avoid disapproval and anger.

In other words, their giving has an agenda, Neither takers Nor caretakers take responsibility for their own and wellbeing takers generally attempt to have control over others, giving them the attention and admiration they want. As I said in more overt ways, while caretakers tend to try and have control over getting approval and attention and more covert ways, such as compliance, doing too much for others, withholding their own wants and their own needs Because neither takers Nor caretakers are taking loving care of themselves.

They they’re each Going to end up feeling angry and resentful and trapped and unappreciated, unseen and unloved, misunderstood, and unacknowledged. When you feel this way in a relationship, it’s likely because you’re expecting the other person to give you what you’re not giving to yourself when you’re not seeing and valuing and acknowledging or understanding yourself. And when you’re not attending to your own wants and needs, you’re always gonna feel upset when others treat you just like you’re treating yourself codependent relationships, which are relationships of two takers, two caretakers, or a taker, and a caretaker like we’ve been talking about.

Well, almost always run into problems. Many people leave these relationships only to discover the same problems in their next relationships. Takers and caretakers can switch places in different relationships and over different issues, but the problems remain the same anger, resentment distance, lack of sexuality, boredom, feeling unloved, and on loving, the more I’ve explored the deeper dynamics of takers and caretakers. The more I’ve discovered that understanding these positions is vital and essential to healing, relationship, relationship issues, both takers and caretakers come from the wound itself.

And from the wound itself, core shame belief of I’m not good enough that their behavior is just two sides of the same coin. Lots of times caretakers think, Oh, they’re better. They’re more loving, but really it’s just different ways of trying to control, getting what you want because you’re not giving yourself. You’re not loving yourself and giving yourself what you need. And so you don’t have love to share out of our early childhood experiences. Each of us, at some point concluded that we were not good enough, that we have no intrinsic worth, that we’re flawed defective. Unimportant.

Once we draw this unconscious conclusion, then we also decide again, unconsciously on how we’re going to go about feeling worthy. Those of us who become primarily caretakers decide that well, if I put myself aside and take care of others and others see me as good them, then I’m okay. Those of us who become primarily takers, decide that if I can get others to love me, attend to me, approve of me and see me as special and important to them, then I’m okay. All of us can be both takers and caretakers. When we’re in our wounded self.

It just depends on the situation, on the relationship and on the issue. For example, you might be a caretaker when it comes to sexuality or you, you might be a taker when it comes to the financial issue. So it can go back and forth over different issues. In a relationship, both takers and caretakers become addicted to defining their worth externally. They become addicted to others, defining their worth, but they just do it differently.

Caretakers often see themselves, like I said, is loving and, and they’re trying to get defined as good and worthy by being nice and often overly nice. And by giving themselves up and caring about others, to the exclusion of themselves, takers tend to see themselves as entitled to get what they want from others. They tend to have a narcissistic. What about me? Attitude, and can even get violent when they don’t get what they want or what they think they deserve. Both takers and caretakers are coming from fear rather than from love. Both are out of balance. Caretakers need more compassion for themselves.

Caretakers tend to be compassionate towards others, but not towards themselves. Takers need more compassion for both themselves and others. Both takers and caretakers are trying in different ways to get others, to give them the compassion, rather than give the compassion that, that they want and need rather than give this to themselves. Both takers and caretakers are trying to control. The difference is, is that caretakers generally do it with covert control. As I said, with like niceness and compliance and takers, generally do it with overt control, such as anger and blame, both end up feeling like victims when they don’t get what they want caretakers and take her set up a system where the T where the caretaker gives the taker, what the taker seemingly wants.

And as long as the caretaker does it quote, right. Things may seem okay unless that taker has periodic episodes of rage. But at the same point, caretakers may feel drained and unhappy because, because they’re not getting back the hope for love and validation at this point, caretakers might feel angry, betrayed, and trapped. Look at all. I’ve given you. And this is what I get caretakers. Get help and realize that they’ve been giving themselves up to get loved. They might start to take better care of themselves, but at this point, our relationship might go into turmoil.

The system that they originally agreed on is changing and the takers might feel betrayed by the changes. I tell my clients who were in this situation, that there’s a 50, 50 chance of the relationship surviving. And there’s a 50, 50 chance of the taker. There’s a 50 50 chance that, that the taker will get some help and start to take responsibility for him or herself. But there’s also a 50% chance that the taker will leave the relationship to seek another caretaker. Relationships can also go into turmoil. If the taker loses interest and starts to seek attention and validation elsewhere, Turmo turmoil can also occur.

If the caretaker finds someone else to caretake who was more receptive than his or her partner. So what makes one person choose caretaking and another become a taker in response to the core shame that we all decided? No. When we’re young. So there’s a number of answers to this question. This choice comes from the role modeling in the family. If the child believes that the taker parent has the power, the child might model themselves after that parent. However, if the child is very sensitive and empathic, or they’ve been parentified by a narcissistic parent, they might become a caretaker.

Often caretakers feel other people’s feelings, way more than takers. Perhaps people are born with different levels of empathy or perhaps takers succeed in putting a lid on their level of it. Empathy, caretakers, who are unable to not have empathy for others, want to take away other’s pain. So they don’t have to feel it so much, but there’s a very big difference between empathy and care-taking empathy is the ability to compassionately feel other people’s feelings while caretaking is sacrificing the needs and wants of your own inner child to take care of the needs and wants of others in our children.

When they’re capable of doing it for themselves, it’s giving to others from fear rather than from love. It’s giving to get giving with an agenda through taking responsibility for other people’s feelings. So caretakers end up having lots of compassion for others, but very little for themselves. They hope that taker will eventually give them the compassion they’re seeking, but takers often lack, empathy and compassion, both for themselves. And for others takers demand that others give to them and love them. Believing that their best feelings come from others.

Love caretakers, believe that their best feelings come from being seen by others as good. And that they’re selfish. If they take care of themselves, takers, feel that others are selfish. If they take care of themselves, instead of take care of that, of the taker. One of my clients asked if I stopped caretaking others and learn to take loving care of myself, will I lose my compassion for others? The answer is no. You’re actually going to end up having more compassion for others. And here’s why caretaking comes from the wound itself. When you caretake others, you’re trying to do what you think they want so that they’re gonna like you or not get angry with you.

Caretaking is a form of control that as I said, always has an agenda attached. Caretaking involves giving yourself up in some way, in order to get someone, to give you what you’re not giving to yourself. Whereas compassion comes from the loving adult. It flows naturally from your heart to others. When you have compassion for yourself, the more you learn to have compassion for yourself, and you learn to take loving care of yourself. The more your compassion will naturally flow to others. There’s no agenda attached to compassion and caring from a loving adult.

You freely offer compassion to others because it feels good to do so. Not because you want, need or expect anything in return. So ironic to me that many people believe that taking loving care of themselves as selfish and will lead to uncaring behavior towards others. The truth is nothing could be further from the truth. It’s when you’re not taking loving care of yourself, that you might be selfish when you’re abandoning yourself and instead caretaking others or expecting others to caretake you. You’re Needy. Whenever you’re Judging yourself, staying in your mind and ignoring your feelings, covering over your feelings with addictions or making others responsible for your feelings.

You create an inner emptiness that then needs to get filled by others, trying to get others to fill you rather than taking responsibility for your own feelings and needs is selfish. Expecting others to give themselves up, to give you what you’re unwilling to give to yourself is selfish, not caring about the effects on others of your unloving. Behavior is selfish. Taking loving care of yourself is the opposite of selfishness. When you learn to take loving care of yourself through your inner bonding process, you’re filling yourself up with love, which you can then share with others instead of needing anything from others, needing them to hear you and validate you, give you attention and approve of you.

You’re hearing yourself, validating yourself, giving yourself the attention you need and approving of yourself when you don’t need anything from others, you receive great joy in sharing your love and compassion with them. It feels wonderful to share love. In fact, it’s one of the highest experiences in life. If your wound itself is telling you that it’s selfish to take care of yourself, instead of caretaking others, please recognize that your wound itself is coming from a false programmed beliefs. And it doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

When I used to caretake, I convinced myself that I was being loving and compassionate. It’s not that I wasn’t a compassionate person, but, but that I couldn’t truly be compassionate when I had an agenda, which was generally to get compassion back. Since I wasn’t attending to myself. Since I wasn’t giving myself compassion, I desperately wanted others to give me the compassion I wasn’t giving to myself. You might want to notice the difference in what it feels like inside when you’re giving love and compassion to get love and compassion or giving love and compassion for the joy of it.

The former is draining while the latter is fulfilling. The former ends in resentment when you don’t get it back while the latter feels complete within. So as I’ve stated, caretaking is a covert form of control, which may include compliance. Niceness, praise seductiveness. Caretaking is one of the ways the wound itself tries to protect against rejection as well as a way to not feel your own and others’ pain. When you’re caretaking, you put your own inner child in a closet to take care of another’s inner child. With the hope that the other person will feel loved and will then eventually take your inner child out of the closet and love you, which of course never happens.

Now. Caregiving as differentiated from care taking is doing for another, what they can’t do for themselves as with children or ill people or the elderly who you’ve agreed to take care of, even when you’re sacrificing yourself, caregiving comes from the loving adult giving from the heart. Well, caretaking comes from the wound itself, often giving from fear or from the false beliefs regarding what’s loving caregiving, as well as giving love and gifts to others from your heart has no agenda attached.

That is there’s no expectations that others will give back or approve of you. Caregiving, caring, and giving are pure gifts of the heart. If you give to others and you end up unhappy that you’re not receiving appreciation or acknowledgement, it’s likely that your, that your care taking when you’re giving it to get, you may end up feeling like others owe you for what you give. You might find yourself, keeping a kind of check and balance system in your head. I cooked dinner all week, so he should be taking me out to eat.

I bring home the paycheck. So she should make love to me. When you give to get, you may not feel loved until things are quote fair or quote. Even since things will never be fair or even, or even giving to get me results in never feeling loved. Caretakers might give to try to avoid rejection, but they may also be coming from a desire to fix the other person’s who is not to feel their pain. What do you do when you’re a deeply empathic person, a person who feels other people’s feelings in your own body and someone you care about is in pain.

Of course you want to do all you can do to help relieve the pain on the surface. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can lead to the trap of caretaking. So for example, Linda is a deeply in pathic person. She was born into a family where she was the only one in her whole family that had that deep, natural empathy. As a result, she ended up being the person who were home, her parents and siblings relied on for caring and for support in her marriage. The same thing occurred. She ended up giving while everyone else, her husband and children ended up taking in a zoom session with her.

She explored a friendship. She was in, I love Maria, but I think I have to end this friendship. She’s relying on me more and more for everything. And I’m feeling drained. She just won’t take care of herself and keeps expecting me to take care of her. This is one of the problems that deeply in pathic people face. They love to help and give. And the way they love feels so good to others that others want more and more of it, but it often, it often ends up being a one way street. The challenge is to learn, to bring that deep empathy within as well to your own inner child, your own feeling self.

If you continue to have empathy for others, but not for yourself, you’re going to find yourself in caretaking relationships over and over again, even though the actions of true Karen and the actions of caretaking might look exactly the same. The intention behind each is totally different. So the energy of the actions is also completely different. For example, Sandy is a caretaker. She’s constantly doing things for others sometimes because they ask her to and other times, because she believes it’s what they want and expect.

The problem is a Sandy often abandons herself to give to others and then expects others to give back to her and fill the emptiness. When within her that’s being caused by herself abandonment, she ignores her own feelings and uses giving to others as an addiction to avoid responsibility for herself. She uses her caretaking as a form of control to try to get others, to like and value her rather than learning to like and value herself while others might like what Sandy gives to them. Of course they do. They rarely give back to her in the way she homes for.

So Sandy generally ends up feeling invisible, unappreciated, disappointed, and drained, and often angry as well. The energy of Sandy’s caretaking often doesn’t actually feel good to others and they feel pulled on an obligated to give back. Now, Monica, on the other hand has learned through her inner bonding work to connect with her personal source of spiritual guidance, which enables her to define her own worth so that she isn’t needy of others, attention and approval. She knows how to fill herself with love and to take responsibility for her own feelings before giving to others.

She checks in with herself to see if this is something she really wants to do or is in her highest good so that when she gives it’s for the joy of it, her caring is a free gift with no strings attached. She has no expectations about how the other person quote, should respond. She’s truly giving and caring rather than caretaking. The energy of Monica is giving and caring feels wonderful. A breath of fresh air that warms the heart and fills the soul. Well, Sandy and Monica may do the exact same thing.

For example, cook a lovely meal for their partner. The energy of it is totally different because the intention is totally different. When a husband gives his wife flowers to get something, to get approval or sex or attention, his wife can feel the strings attached and would rather not receive the flowers. She may give my a half smile, but inside she may be feeling shut down or resistance. She, she knows that the flowers are a form of control. There’s no love in the act of giving flowers. When the intent is to get something back. When a husband gives his wife flowers, because on his way, home, his heart fills with love for his wife.

And he wants to express it in a way that he knows she appreciates it. His wife will love getting the flowers. So while the act of giving the flowers is exactly the same. The intent behind the gift is totally different. We can’t Hide our intention. It’s betrayed in our energy. You might think you hide it, but you don’t. There’s a world of difference between the energy of caretaking of giving to get and the energy of giving and caring for the joy of it. So behind every caretaker is a taker trying to get love rather than genuinely just wanting to share love.

Once You learn to check in first with yourself and your guidance before giving to others, you’re going to stop giving when it’s not appropriate caretaking, isn’t loving because it’s not loving to be doing for others, what they need to be doing for themselves, unless it’s just coming from that place of love. A pure gift by checking in with yourself and your guidance, you can turn tune into. What’s really loving both to yourself and to the other person. However, Neither takers nor terror cake takers, generally trust their inner guidance regarding the truth about their goodness and their worth. Both want to get it from outside themselves.

They just do it in different ways. So the healing for both the taker and the caretaker comes when you learn to go to your guidance, when you learn to trust your guidance, to open to your guidance for love and for your sense of worth and goodness, rather than trying to get others to do this for you, relationships heal when individuals heal, when each partner does their inner bonding work, their relationship system can heal. When each partner learns to take personal responsibility for his own feelings of pain and joy and wellbeing, and self-worth, they stopped pulling on each other and blaming each other.

When each person learns to fill themselves with love and share that love with each other, instead of always trying to get love the relationship heals, learning how to take responsibility for your own feelings is one of the essential ingredients in creating a healthy relationship. This means learning to be conscious of what you’re feeling and being open to learning about what you’re doing to create your own feelings and, and, and, and practicing being in step one. That is step one, step one is being present in your body with your feelings instead of being a victim and believing that others are causing your feelings, your wounded feelings, such as anxiety, depression, insecurity, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness, emptiness, jealousy, envy, come from how you treat yourself and others from what you tell yourself and what you believe about yourself and others rather than from others, behavior blaming others for your wounded feelings will always lead to major relationship Problems.

In reality, you’re the only one who can, who you actually have control over. You’re the only one you can change. So why not start today by taking your eyes off your partner and others and putting them squarely on yourself. Why not start today with a consistent inner bonding practice, which you can learn with my 30 day, love yourself course. It’s a very, very powerful way of learning to love yourself. And you can also begin to heal your relationship with my 30 day video relationship course, wildly, deeply joyously in love.

So go to inner, take advantage of all that we offer. There. There’s so much free there’s articles, a free course. We offer so much on the site that will help you learn to love yourself so that you can move out of being a taker or caretaker and into creating truly loving, fulfilling relationships. I wish you so much love and health and blessings in your life.

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