Bad Girl, Good Business

Route 66 Installment #53: Give & Take

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the words of the Eurythmics:

“Everybody’s looking for something.”

So, as we enter Thanksgiving week, the questions to ask yourself are:

  • What are YOU looking for?
  • Who and where are you looking to fulfill those needs?
  • And perhaps the most critical questions: Do you give as much as you take from others? Do you give constantly and then resent the people who take from you?


Let’s face it. Social media has contributed to the evolution of a culture often centered on the individual and how “popular” they are.

We reward public figures who make a ton of money, look great on camera, and build giant tech empires.

And, even if you’re not among those select few, you may measure your self-worth and impact on the world by how many followers and likes you get on Instagram or TikTok.

But what do you give?

Striking that balance of taking and giving is more important than ever.

We all have those friends and colleagues who operate solely from a “What’s in it for ME?” mindset. They tend to:

  1. Talk exclusively about themselves on social media, posting pictures and videos of their own faces and bodies, their pets, their homes, and the places they visit. You rarely see a tag or a thank you.
  2. Ignore you or quickly change topic when you need to talk about your own challenges or are facing adversity but are quick to ramble on about their own lives and problems.
  3. Don’t appreciate the simple and kind things you do for them.
  4. Speak frequently about their own generosity.
  5. Get defensive when confronted (even kindly) about their lack of availability (physical or psychological) or habits.
  6. Bask in the credit of work that others have done, without acknowledging their contributions.
  7. Take advantage of your kindness. For example, I had one “friend” who liked to stick me with the check whenever we went out. I had covered him when he was unemployed, but he continued the pattern. When I pointed it out, he flipped the situation around and told me I was petty (See #5). Buh-bye!

Now is a great time of year to examine who’s in your “circle” and what you get from them, what you give to them, and whether you’re truly happy with the balance.

No scorecards, please!

Giving must come from the heart, and relationships (friendships, business connections, and romantic involvements) shouldn’t involve counting acts of kindness and constantly looking for a 1:1 ratio.

That said, taking a broader view of the people in your life and seeking balance can be healthy and transformational. Give and take may not be in perfect balance at any particular moment, so look at the big picture.

What we get from and give to others is not always tangible. It can be:

  • Education
  • Inspiration
  • Insights
  • Fun
  • Companionship
  • Support
  • Validation

So, this holiday season, remember to say thanks to those people who have given you something — tangible or not —  this year and over your lifetime.

And consider cutting ties with the serial takers.

You’ll ultimately be grateful you did!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I’m giving you this guide to giving and taking…

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred A great book about Giving and Taking
BGGB_ShakingHands Relationship reciprocity
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred Feeling let down? Here’s what to do
BGGB_Pointer How to spot a covert narcissist







  1. I know a few of those types of people and they can be exhausting. I find myself sticking with my own family more often than not.

  2. There’s always the people on Facebook that give these cryptic cries for help, but you’re not sure what they want or need. They leave me the most perplexed.

  3. Thank you for your wise words, Nancy! They help more than you know!


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