It's hard to trust people today. I find that when I put it all out on the line, trying to establish friendships, that I often get my heart ripped apart. I have learned a few things about friendships, especially when I am developing personal intimate relationships with others. By that I mean friendships that are open and transparent.
In the world today I have found that there are basically two types of friends--givers and takers, just like in the time of Joseph. Let me explain about givers and takers.
Takers are those that are in the relationship or friendship for one main reason, or at least if often seems that way. The reason is to get something they need and want at the expense of the other person's feelings and heart. Actually in all fairness we all develop relationships to get something. The main motivation in building the friendship for a taker is to get what he wants, with no consideration for the other person. There is something we all seek in relationships, but a taker is only looking for what he will get out of it and not what the taker can add to the relationship. Most often when he cannot get what he wants he moves on to the next person, constantly looking to have his cup filled but not willing to fill others' cups. We all have met takers in our lives, and to be truthful most of us have been hurt by the actions of a taker.
Givers, on the other hand, go into a relationship needing something, understanding the need they have, but also tuning into the other person's needs, making sure those needs are met in a good way. Givers are tenderhearted and most often trusting. Givers are those who edify those around them and find great joy in doing so. They put it all on the line and give all they have to the friendship. Givers most often are looking for long-term friendships, the types of friendships that last through thick and thin and just seem to get stronger and stronger as time goes on. Givers for forgivers. They easily overlook the faults of others and tend to see the positive in most things, especially in those with whom they choose to be friends. They are optimistic about life and want to share that happiness with others. Because a giver gives more, he expects more, often setting himself up for failure. Givers uplift, empower, and validate others.
I have learned that we are all at different levels in our progression, and that at different points of our lives, our needs are different. I have learned to see and accept what others' intents are. I still stay open, but hold back if I sense they are takers. Sometimes the taker needs to be taught. Sometimes he just needs to grow up. I have had experiences that started off badly and later turned out great, and I have also had just the opposite.
I think the worst thing we can do is to stop reaching out because of the fear of being hurt. For all the times I am hurt, there are far more times I develop wonderful friendships that bless my life.
One thing I have thought and shared before is the belief that the Human Heart has no limits on how many people we can love, or on how deeply we can love them. Society puts limits and restrictions on that. Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you have one good friend in this life you are lucky"? I have heard that my entire life, and I don't like that thought. I think it stops us from opening our hearts and letting others in, and in the process, we miss out on great opportunities for friendships.
Why stop at one best friend? The world is filled with likeminded people with whom you can connect and create life changing friendships. When we stop at one friend we deny ourselves growth, and we deny others the chance to meet a really great person. We never know just how much others can change our lives or just how much we can change the life of another person.
So how does this go with the story of Joseph? Sometimes in life when we meet takers, (remember a taker would will take whatever he can, regardless of how it hurts you or lowers your standards). the best course of action is to run. By this I mean that often there are those who desire to take so much that it could put our lives and happiness in jeopardy. For Joseph it was Potiphar's wife. She was a taker, looking only for what she could get our of the relationship, with no thought of the consequences of her actions. I often hear of stories like that. Joseph set the perfect example. Run. If we are in a situation where our integrity is being compromised, run. Joseph ran and didn't look back. Yes, his choice caused temporary discomfort, but in the end he was able to get just what he needed and so much more. All of his life he was surrounded by takers and, yes, givers. He learned great lessons from each one, and as we look at his life we can learn how to handle those situations in our own personal lives as we deal with takers and givers.
When creating friendships, proceed with caution, but with an open heart and the ability to discern between givers and takers. Don't be afraid to love and be loved. The world is full of givers, don't let the experience of takers spoil your chances for happiness and joy. Healthy friendships are truly the foundation for a life filled with goodness.
Brad~A Happy Giver
This blog has been a blessing and a trial. It's hard to be transparent in our culture. We get judged harshly and without understanding. From my experiences I have learned to be more understanding and less judgmental. My heart goes out to so many who struggle and it's my constant prayer that perhaps what I write will bless just one person.
Feel free to comment below. Sign up on the side bar and you will get automatic notices when I post a new blog. Thank you for reading, understanding, and sharing. And please feel free to share with others. You never know who just might need encouragement. Brad