Are You a Giver or a Griver?

It’s gift giving time, no matter what holiday you celebrate. Giving gifts is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. What threatens the joy of giving are the unhealthy beliefs and behavior patterns of what I like to call the griver.

Grivers keep score, expect a return and sometimes engage in public displays of drama.

Latisha’s Aunt Bea went on a tirade at Christmas. Bea was well-known for her holiday hospitality and great food. She’s been having the extended family over for years. This year, something went very wrong.

Everyone was supposed to bring a dish. My friend Latisha forgot. Can you guess what happened? Aunt Bea lost it. Disgusted and angry, Aunt Bea ranted about a lack of appreciation she perceived by everyone throughout her lifetime. Bea singled out each and every family member … “the year you did this!” … “the time you didn’t do that!”

The powder keg of Bea’s unmet secret expectations and simmering resentment had finally blown. She had indeed become the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Grivers expect their friends and family to be mind readers.

Anne spends an enormous amount of time and energy getting her husband, Jon, a special gift. Anne secretly expects Jon to give her a specific gift she has in mind. Later, she finds herself disappointed and crying. Jon had no idea what Anne wanted. A griver like Anne finds herself saying, “If you truly loved me or cared about me, you would know what I really want. Haven’t I hinted around enough? Do you ever listen?”

Does any of this ring true for you? 

If not, you are on the right path. Giving for the joy of giving from your heart, with no expectations in return is the surest way to have a joyous holiday season.

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