How to Spot a "Taker"

Tips from Dr. Liz

How to Spot a “Taker”

“Taker” behaviors are pretty obvious when you know what to look out for…

  • These are the individuals who are really friendly and engaged… until they don’t get their way.

  • They are the ones who completely shift the way they treat you… when you tell them “no” or when they stop benefiting from you.

  • They are the ones who often don’t show up for you in return… and are full of excuses and reasons why they aren’t “available” when you express a need or want from them.

They have a really hard time seeing other people’s perspective of a situation and often go into a “victim role” when you set a boundary or express that you can’t give them something they want.

These types of behaviors and responses are REALLY hard for those of us who were raised in environments where giving, pleasing, and caretaking was how we survived our childhoods.

For many of us, we learned at a very young age that by pleasing those around us and making sure everyone else is happy and getting what they want… Only then can we feel accepted, safe, and “loved.”

The even harder part is that because of our Relationship Programming, we are often drawn to these individuals because they are familiar, and we are used to showing up for others in this way.

Some of the biggest (and hardest) lessons I’ve gained through my healing around my struggles with takers:  

  • ‘Givers’ have to set limits because ‘takers’ will always keep taking.

  • Many people will do what we allow them to get away with.

  • You teach others how to treat you through the boundaries you set.

  • ‘Takers’ aren’t in it for the relationship, but rather what they can get out of it.

  • You are not a ‘bad person’ for saying no just because they behave like a ‘victim.’

  • It’s okay if they are mad at you; this is a reflection of them, not you.  

  • It’s usually beneficial to remove yourself from these dynamics, as much as possible.

And yes, even as far as I am in my healing journey, I still continue to have realizations regarding these types of experiences and interactions because of how deeply programmed I am to people-please and care-take…

Please know that if you are struggling with the same thing, healing is possible.

Start by increasing awareness of these tendencies. Take inventory of these types of people currently in your life. Get some help and support to learn how to set and hold boundaries… and remember it is OKAY to say “no.”

The Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban

If you find that you are drawn to "takers" more often than you'd like to admit, it might be time to start learning better strategies for setting and holding boundaries: 

Relatable | Relationships Unfiltered Episode 15

Dr. Liz chats with Melissa Urban, CEO of Whole30 and NYT best-selling author, about the importance of setting and holding boundaries. Melissa provides an understanding of what boundaries are and why they are crucial to the quality of our mental health and relationships. Dr. Liz and Melissa explore barriers to setting boundaries and discuss reasons why many of us struggle to do so. They also chat about their own personal experiences with boundaries, as well as provide strategies for improving boundary setting skills. You won’t want to miss this very relatable episode all about why boundaries are hard AND necessary!