Are you a giver or a taker?

Sometimes, you just have to take time to give a laugh at the English language. This is one of those times.

I was just told that: “There are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Takers might eat well, but givers sleep better at night.”


Here I was thinking that my lack of sleep was due to stress, an overactive imagination and too much pizza. Now I learn that my lack of sleep is from taking too much and not giving enough. So I set out to give as much as I could.

Givers sleep better

I decided to start by giving advice. “The blue would look better on you.”

“What?” my wife asked. “You never comment on what I’m wearing. At least, not voluntarily.”

“It’s my new sleep therapy,” I explained with excitement. “Givers sleep better than takers, so I just gave you some advice.”

“Well, while you’re at it, is there anything else you want to comment on?”

I saw my chance to give a compliment. “Overall, you are really beautiful.”

“Why, thank you.”

I was on a roll. I was really giving. This was my chance to give her my opinion. “Your hair is kind of ugly like that.”

“What?! You take that back!”

“No, I can’t,” I protested. “I can’t take it back.”

“You’d better!”

“No, no, no. That would make me a taker and then I won’t be able to sleep.”

“Then you can just take your silly opinions and get out of here.”

“No, I can’t do that. I can’t take …” My sentence was cut short by the hard realization that my nose and a door could not occupy the same space at the same time.

I decided to call my mother. “Hi mom. I thought I would give you a quick call.”

“How sweet. You took the time to call your mother.”

“No. No. I just gave you a call. I didn’t take anything,” I protested.

“Oh yes you did. You even took my advice to call more often. And you took account of your mother’s happiness. And you took … Hello? Hello?”

I just could not take any more. Literally. I scrambled out the door, the phone still lying on the table.

I had to take off. No, I couldn’t do that. That would be taking. Dear me, English is complicated. Taking off would just keep me from sleeping. I saw my neighbor. Ah, my neighbor! Surely I could give him a hand.

“Sorry. Today I’m just relaxing.” He studied the knots of tension in my face. “Say…you look a little stressed. Maybe you should take a break, too.”

“No, I can’t take a break. Takers don’t sleep well at night.”

“Well, at least you’re taking a stand on something.”

“I am NOT taking a stand,” I protested. Egads! I was taking stand. I was taking a stand against taking a stand.

“Take it easy, bud.”

Yikes! My neighbor was trying to turn me into a champion taker. I darted back toward my house in a state of panic.

“Take care,” my neighbor called after me.

“Noooooooooo…” I screamed with my hands over my ears.

Crouched in the safety of my favorite closet, I tallied up the day. I gave:

  • advice
  • a compliment
  • my opinion

But I took:

  • it back
  • my silly opinions
  • the time
  • my mother’s advice
  • account of my mother’s happiness
  • off
  • a break
  • a stand
  • it easy
  • care

Oh, no. I gave three times and took 10 times.

No wonder I wasn’t sleeping well at night. I was truly a taker. There was nothing left to do but to take a sleeping pill. That should give me at least five hours of sleep, give or take a few. Then again, maybe hiding in a closet was the reason I wasn’t sleeping well.


  1. Being a giver satisfy me a lot. As I love helping and being a giver, people never hesitate to help me 🙂

  2. There’s another way than just giving a compliment, giving an advice or opinions. Practice some random act of kindness such as pay for someone’s coffee, giving homeless people some foods or drinks, helping people in need, smile to strangers, become a charity members… there’s a lot of random act of kindness ideas on the internet. Just google it.

  3. Always a giver and will be in future too as it gives immense satisfaction, nothing in this world can give more satisfaction than becoming a giver.

  4. I’m not a bible thumper, nor am I a Christian, but Jesus said wise words in this, “If you give to people who give back to you what thanks do you have?” He said we should give to people who cannot give back and that’s the big secret. Cultivate such a habit and the universe will always take care of you when you are open to receive.

    Right now there are over millions of people in the flood of India/Nepal/Bangladesh who do not have homeowners insurance or money in the bank. Perhaps a reminder that Jesus would be proud if you give a little for them. Another way to help is to buy handicrafts from Nepal, etc. for Christmas this year.

  5. Dear David

    Good questions: Are you a giver or a taker?

    It sounds reasonable that givers sleep better than takers (because they’re more satisfied with life?)

    My experience is that givers tend to be more positive in general because they see a world with enough for everyone instead of a world where people need to turn OP down to get what they want.

    I like to see a man write about complimenting his wife; that’s something other men could learn from: also in the blogging community.

    Now I’ll take a nap – and sleep well 🙂

    Cheers, Edna Davidsen

  6. hey! David
    i want to sleep better at night. I’m not rich but I respect people.
    good night, david. i love this

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