“Obvious Giver” Turned Toxic Taker”

An “Obvious Giver” refers to someone who seems to consistently prioritize giving, helping, and supporting others in various ways. On the other hand, a “TOXIC Taker” refers to an individual who tends to exploit, manipulate, or take advantage of others for their own benefit. It might seem contradictory for someone who appears to be a giver to also exhibit toxic taker behaviors, but this situation can arise due to various factors and underlying psychological dynamics. Here’s how this apparent contradiction might play out:

  • Manipulative Intent: A person who presents themselves as a giver might use their giving behavior as a tool for manipulation. They could give to others in a way that creates a sense of obligation or indebtedness, which they later exploit to get what they want. For instance, they might expect others to reciprocate their kindness with favors or resources.
  • Control and Power: A giver might also seek control and power over others by creating a dependency on their generosity. By being the constant source of support, they can control the dynamics of relationships and exert influence over others’ decisions and actions.
  • Emotional Manipulation: A toxic taker might exploit the emotional vulnerability of others. They could use their apparent giving behavior to elicit feelings of guilt, sympathy, or pity from others, which they then leverage to gain advantages.
  • Compulsive Traits: Some individuals exhibit compulsive traits, where they have an inflated sense of self-importance and lack empathy for others. These individuals might use their giving behavior as a way to bolster their self-image, gain admiration, and manipulate others’ perceptions of them.
  • Hidden Agendas: An obvious giver might have hidden agendas or ulterior motives that are not immediately apparent. They could be using their giving persona as a cover for their true intentions, such as financial gain, social status, or personal validation.
  • Ego Boost: For some people, being seen as a giver provides a boost to their ego and self-esteem. They might use their giving behavior as a way to receive praise, admiration, and validation from others, which can become their primary motivation.
  • Avoidance of Criticism: An individual might engage in giving behaviors to deflect criticism or judgment from others. By appearing selfless and generous, they create a shield against accusations of selfishness or negative behaviors.
  • Societal Expectations: Society often values and rewards giving behavior. Some individuals might exploit this social expectation to their advantage while still engaging in toxic behavior behind the scenes. This trait often plays on in a marriage. The spouse is consistently a giver with family, neighbors, friends and colleagues. Meanwhile in a relationship they are more often a toxic taker. 

Finding Balance:

  • Striking a healthy balance between being a giver and a taker is crucial. This involves setting boundaries to protect your own well-being while also being willing to offer help and support to others when appropriate.
  • Effective communication is key. Let others know when you need assistance or when you’re unable to help due to your own commitments.
  • Practice self-care to ensure that you have the energy and resources to both give and take. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Recognize that being a giver and a taker are not mutually exclusive. You can give to others while also taking care of yourself, and you can focus on your needs without completely ignoring the needs of those around you.

Ultimately, finding the right balance between giving and taking depends on the context, your personal values, and the dynamics of your relationships. It’s important to reflect on your own tendencies and adjust your behavior as needed to foster healthy and fulfilling interactions with others.

Human behavior is complex, and individuals can display a combination of motivations, both positive and negative. People might also change their behavior in different contexts or over time. If you suspect that someone who appears to be a giver is exhibiting toxic taker behavior, it’s crucial to evaluate their actions and intentions carefully. If the relationship dynamic has shifted in the relationship to be out of a good balance of giving and taking the giver has the responsibility to set a boundary with kindness and compassion. Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect, open communication, and genuine care for each other’s well-being.


Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D., Transformation Hypnosis Practitioner, a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and entrepreneur. Dr. Dorothy works worldwide using internet transmission platforms. She is co-author of the International Best Selling book, Conceived To Lead: Dismantling The Glass Ceiling Mindset