One of the mental models that helps me a lot is to classify people into one of 3 buckets:
- Giver: The selfless one, always giving
- Taker: The selfish one, always taking
- Matcher: The middle one, bringing giver and taker together
This might seem simplistic. But look around us, and we will find that people invariably fall into one of these 3 types.
The crazy boss who is happy no matter what we do? Working on Friday night isn’t enough, neither is working on Saturday, or even Sunday. And at the end of it all? “So what, this is your job, you’re expected to pull these hours!” That’s a ‘taker’ for you right there! Givers on the other hand, are awesome to work with. They’ve always got your back. And always want to encourage your growth.
This model is not about categorising other people out of spite. Rather, it is to be able to objectively look at the people and situations we find ourselves with. Plainly put, a taker is likely to remain a taker for life. It’s a deeply integrated part of their personality and psyche. Trying to change that, makes no sense. If we are forced to be with such a person, we can mentally reassure ourselves, that this ‘taker’ is not showing some personal hatred against you. Rather, that’s just the kind of person s/he is. On the flip side, we can seek out more givers and matchers than takers – if we have the freedom and flexibility to!