You could say that some of us are more naturally inclined to give and others a little more inclined to take. With practice and over time throughout the lifespan this tendency can grow and either develop further or possibly lessen. The picture to the left shows a general image for reflection with a 'giver' and a 'taker'. However, a taker isn't always a taker and a giver isn't always necessarily a giver. We probably tend to be born one way or another, however, positive and negative life experiences can definitely tend to shift things. Maybe someone started off being very self-absorbed and as a taker but then over time that behavior didn't get them where they wanted to go and so they learned somewhere along the way they had to give more. Or maybe someone who starts off as a 'giver' gives so much or gets hurt and then starts to resent the pattern and act as a 'taker'. Whatever the situation, it is helpful to know where you stand and that there always needs to be a balance in any dynamic.
The 'giver' will eventually burnout and be exhausted by the situation if they feel they aren't getting anything back or aren't appreciated for all their efforts. Whereas the 'taker' may get into a habit of continually taking and feel entitled to take more. In fact, the more they receive, sometimes the more they expect to receive and in this way become even more of a 'taker'. Basically the dynamic leads to a greater imbalance in the end and isn't sustainable.
This is why empathy is so important. It's important to have some idea and understanding of what the other person is experiencing and what they need. This is not to say you need to be an 'empath' and feel the other person's feelings. It's more that it's important to have some awareness and care about another person's feelings. This is so that they don't get to a place of burnout on giving, or that the 'taker' isn't enabled to become even more of a taker. If you want to have balance in any dynamic, then there needs to be balance lol
So I challenge you to take inventory of yourself...what is happening in your dynamic with people? And I mean all people, not just romantic relationships. Are you going in with the expectation of giving, of taking, or maybe you don't even know what you're doing because it's so automatic? But whatever you're doing it's in your OWN self interest to have empathy for others, to care about what they are experiencing and invest in making sure there is a balance. So even if you are used to taking and lets face it, enjoying the experience...it's not a good idea to keep doing it indefinitely. It's in your OWN interest to also make sure another person is having their needs met. And if the other person doesn't even know what their needs are...then try helping them figure it out! If you are more of a taker you have probably developed a pretty good ability of knowing what you want, so you can teach that and pass it on to others!
The point here is to give yourself the opportunity to reflect on where you are. With reflection, noticing and an honest evaluation of yourself you can become more self-aware and identify where it is you're at. In all things, it is generally a good idea to take the middle road. In the end, it's not in anyone's best interest to be a 'giver' or a 'taker'. It's best to be something in the middle. Maybe a balanced, self-aware, empathetic giver/taker:)