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How to Give Without Burning Out

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Growing up, my mum would always tell me to “never go anywhere without one arm longer than the other.” Translated from Irish to English, that means you always bring a small gift when visiting clients or a friend. For most of us, giving is hard-wired into who we are as people. We love to help others, whether that’s through a thoughtful gift, some well-timed advice, or pitching in at the office.

Sometimes though, we givers can get burnt out. We give and give without taking the time to refresh and replenish ourselves. You can’t give out of an empty cup.

Knowing how you relate to others can provide a valuable tool to avoiding the common pitfalls that lead to giving burnout. I’ve also got some tips on how to rejuvenate, based on which relational attributes you most closely identify with.

The two most common relational attributes are team player and benefactor. Do you know which one you are? Pick which one sounds most like you.

Team Player

How to Give: Team Player

As a team player, it is important for you to be a part of the team. You enjoy the camaraderie and interaction that a team environment offers and take joy in being united with others in your accomplishments.

These are great personality traits, but they can lead to burnout if not managed properly. Team players can find themselves stuck in toxic teams because it’s so difficult for them to pull the plug. You keep giving, but end up burned out because you are attached to the wrong team who doesn’t share the same values as you do.

Rest Tip: Make sure you don’t delete the right team from your life! Having a healthy team dynamic will rejuvenate you and motivate you to keep giving. Determine what team is right for you by asking: “Is this team going to move me toward my goals or is this team tearing me down or moving me farther from my dreams?”


How to Give: Benefactor

As a benefactor, you are very caring and compassionate toward others who are in need. You are compelled to relieve hardship, pain, and suffering.

Benefactors will burn out when there are no boundaries in place because they don’t know where to stop. They need rhythms for renewal so that they aren’t always giving and never receiving. Because you have a tendency to set aside your own needs for the needs of others, it’s important to learn how to practice receiving so you don’t end up trying to give out of an empty cup. More often than not, that fosters bitterness, which can trigger withdrawal.

Rest Tip: Benefactors need to do something for themselves and be intentional about practicing good self-care. They need to surround themselves with encouraging people and create reciprocal relationships.

I’ll be sharing more insight into how we can leverage our strengths in our personal and professional lives at Buffini & Company’s GameChangers. Click here to find an event near you.


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