The Pattern of Control Through Generosity

There are people among us who try to buy other’s time with their money. These people are quick to play the victim card and cry that they are being used because they are not giving authentically from the heart, they are giving from the ego. The ego gives to “Get” something in return. The motivation behind the ego to give is purely to gain favor, be liked by someone, and make other’s feel dependent on them.

Giving as a form of manipulation

Not all gifts and favors come from a good place, sometimes the gift or the favor comes from a place of control and manipulation. We all want to think that the person who is a  habitual giver is just really nice. However, overly giving can be a red-flag pointing to insecurity, low self esteem or even abuse.

I’ve had platonic friends who I was very honest and upfront with that I was not interested in them romantically, yet they insisted on buying me things and helping me with small favors, hoping I would change my mind about them. When I did not change how I felt about them and continued to just keep them as a friend, they got angry and resentful out of the blue and decided to end our relationship. Hence, they were never really a friend.

Resentment within friendships and relationships is always a sign that one needs to mature as a person. Resentment means you didn’t really do what you wanted to do. I was very resentful in a relationship once and after some serious introspection I realized that I wasn’t being authentic because I was denying my own needs. I couldn’t accept I wanted more and they only wanted a friendship or superficial casual relationship.

If my motive is to be someone’s friend because I have a secret crush on them yet they clearly expressed to me they are not attracted to me romantically, I am secretly hoping through our friendship they change their mind. Perhaps if I am always there to listen to them, be a shoulder to lean on and help them with small favors, they will suddenly become attracted to me and want to be more than friends. This train of thought is delusional.

I did all of this for her, yet she doesn’t do anything for me!” Said the Habitual Giver.

The habitual giver stays in a state of resentment

The resentment ignites when all their fake attempts to be a friend doesn’t progress the relationship to an intimate level, or the person they are interested in may start seriously dating another person. Their ego becomes crushed and they suddenly just stop being a friend because it is not fulfilling their agenda. It is a selfish and destructive pattern of actions that make habitual givers appear fake and manipulative.

Most habitual givers use the fact that they can’t help who they fall in love with as an excuse. Nothing can be further from the truth. We can control who we love. To love is a choice to choose to love. We can also control what we give. It is that simple. Habitual giver’s want to believe that they have no control over love and feelings because it releases them from the daunting task of self-responsibility.


It is no coincidence that most abusers try to isolate their victims by taking away their independence. Most abusive mates pressure or manipulate their lover to quit their job so that they do not have to work and allow themselves to be taken care of for a change.

They pay all the bills, take them out and even give their mate an allowance for shopping and leisure. This is as a means of control and to make their mate completely financially dependent on them. It is a huge red flag of more flagellant manipulative and abusive tactics to come.

The Habitual givers do not respect boundaries

In addition, habitual givers are covertly ignoring other’s boundaries. It is a common lack of respect for other’s feelings to try to secretly push an agenda on them, posing as a friend but just merely a wanna-be lover.

Let’s begin with denial. When someone tells you how they really feel, even if it is not what you want to hear, you must accept it and sit in it until the rejection passes. After you face the truth, you should have a clear heart and mind and if continuing a friendship is truly of interest to you, then by all means pursue the friendship while accepting the truth. With a clear heart, entering a friendship with a platonic dynamic will prevent you from being used or played because you don’t want to gain anything but a friend, so your need to please them goes out the window.

People are attracted to you or they are not. Nothing you buy them, nor any amount of favors you do for them can change that. Janell Hihi

Furthermore, low self esteem plays a huge role in the mind of the habitual giver. It is rooted in a place of feeling like they are not enough just as they are. As a result, they feel the need to prove their worth by constantly doing things for others. Many people take advantage of the giver’s thirst for love and validation so the habitual giver becomes Mister or Misses errand boy to many and no one appreciates or respects them. They hardly ever reciprocate the favors because the habitual giver won’t show who they really are, therefore there is no real and authentic bond.

If you are the habitual giver, love yourself first and see what happens. Self love destroys your need to constantly give to others because you do not feel worthy. Self love is the only medicine of the habitual giver ailment.

Don’t give to get.

Give to give.

I wish you all ego-less giving.

By Janell Hihi



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