50 Givers and Takers Quotes Celebrating Life’s Reciprocity Styles

Check out our givers and takers quotes to determine if you are a giver, a taker, or a matcher.

What are givers, takers, and matchers?

In any relationship, whether it is a friendship, familial or romantic, we have different styles of how we give and take. 

Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit.

Reciprocity applies not only to tangible things like money or resources but also to our relationships. 

Our definition of reciprocity determines how we exchange energy with others. 

To determine your style of reciprocity, consider this scenario. 

You run to a friend you have not seen in a long time. 

They tell you they are moving next weekend and would like you to come and help. 

You last spoke to this person several years ago. 

What would you do? 

Do you tell your friend you will be there to help?

Do you tell your friend you will help as long as, in return, they assist you with another job?

Or do you tell your friend you do not feel comfortable committing a weekend to help them move because you have not seen them in a long time and do not feel the obligation to help? 

Your response to the above hypothetical situation reflects your reciprocity style, which is how we approach interacting with others. 

There are three reciprocity styles:

  • Takers
  • Givers
  • Matchers

Each of these reciprocity styles is unique. 

Takers are self-focused and put their interests in front of the needs of others. 

They seek to gain as much as possible from the interaction while contributing as little. 

Givers are service to others-centered. 

They desire to provide help and support with no strings attached. 

A giver will see the exchange and think, “How can I best serve this person?” 

A matcher likes to preserve an equal balance of taking and giving. 

They see the exchange as an opportunity for each party to give and receive equally. 

Matchers will think, “I wish to give as much as I take, and I wish to take as much as I give.” 

All forms of exchange are valid, and each has its benefits and limitations. 

What is your reciprocity style?

Find out more with our fantastic gives and takers quotes below. 

Short givers and takers quotes

These quotes about givers and takers are short and sweet. 

1. “We are givers, not takers.” — Harry Redknapp

2. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank

3. “Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.” — Irma Kurtz

4. “Life will give to the givers and take from the takers.” — Steven Aitchison

5. “Giving of ourselves, sharing our gift, is what lifts us.” — Laya Saul

6. “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Charmichael

7. “People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers.” — Francis Chan

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8.  “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

9. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso

10. “The great thing about a culture of givers is that’s not a delusion; it’s reality.”Adam Grant

Givers and takers quotes to inspire you

Here are some interesting quotes about the nature of giving and taking.  

11. “Takers believe no sustenance. They simply take things wanted.” — Toba Beta

12. “I’ve had to develop a new skill of how to identify takers from givers.” — Richie Norton

13. “To do more for the world than the world does for you, that is success.” Henry Ford

14. “The great apparent dichotomy is that the more we give, the more we get.” Stephen Covey

15. “I spend a lot of my time trying to help leaders build cultures of productive givers.” — Adam Grant

16. “There are times we are givers, but others times we have to let others give to us.” — Paul Hoffman

17. “Men are rich only as they give. He who gives great service gets great returns.” — Elbert Hubbard

18. “You don’t always see people who are at a very high level who are givers and not takers.” — Jesse Marsch

19. “Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them.” — Adam M. Grant

20. “Giving and taking is a delicate balance. If you do not give as much as you take and take as much as you give, you are going against nature.” — Anonymous 

Givers and takers quotes about life

These quotes remind us of the delicate balance between giving and taking. 

21. “It takes generosity to discover the whole through others.” — Jacques Cousteau

22. “The givers of most of the corruption in Africa are from outside Africa.” — Olusegun Obasanjo

23. “From a relationship perspective, givers build deeper and broader connections.” — Adam Grant

24. “Givers advance the world. Takers advance themselves and hold the world back.” Simon Sinek

25. “Contributors and distributors tend to do better at personal branding than takers and fakers.” — Ryan Lilly

26. “Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.” Eckhart Tolle

27. “The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.” Lao Tzu

28. “There are two types of people on earth: givers and takers. Life is not about taking and having but about giving and living.” — GE Pauls

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29. “Life has taught me one great lesson with time. We increase by giving away and decrease by taking away. Takers never prosper!” — Dr. Lucas D. Shallua

30. “Sooner or later, people are definitely going to give up if you don’t give them back as much as they’re giving you.” — Banana Yoshimoto

Powerful givers and takers quotes

Here are some cool sayings about givers and takers. 

31. “My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” — Marlo Thomas

32. “We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest..” — Orison Marden

33. “The world has takers and givers; the moment you decide to be a taker, you will always be in want, scarcity, and on a downward spiral. Givers are always watered and never wither even in the dry season.” ― Dr. Lucas D. Shallua

34. “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” — Bob Kerrey

35. “The greatest masters are the greatest apprentices as well; they are not only greatest givers but also greatest takers.” — Mehmet Murat Ildan

36. “When no one is selfless in a relationship, there is war. When one is selfless, there is peace. When both are selfless, there is joy.” — Royce White

37. “So if givers are most likely to land at the bottom of the success ladder, who’s at the top – takers or matchers? Neither. When I took another look at the data, I discovered a surprising pattern: It’s the givers again. — Adam M. Grant

38. “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” Tony Robbins

39. “The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” — Ethel Percy Andrus

40. “Takers believe in a zero-sum world, and they end up creating one where bosses, colleagues, and clients don’t trust them. Givers build deeper and broader relationships – people are rooting for them instead of gunning for them.” — Adam Grant

Givers and takers quotes that will make your day

These quotes capture the essence of what it means to be a giver or a taker. 

41. “Most people are weak and frightened. And run from anything which could be upsetting. Most people. Also are takers and not givers.” — Laura Schlesinger

42. “As my dad said, you have an obligation to leave the world better than how you found it. And he also reminded us to be givers in this life and not takers.” — Phil Crane

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43. “I realized that I had slowly let them get comfortable disrespecting me. I had to put up boundaries for emotional self-defense. There comes a time when Givers must protect themselves because Takers have no interest in protecting you.”Steve Maraboli

44. “Apart from being motivation for themselves, I think big givers should also talk about their philanthropy so that their work and their success stories prove inspirational enough for many others to follow.” — Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

45. “Non-churchgoers tend to see Christians as takers rather than givers. When Christians sacrifice and give wildly to the poor, that is truly a light that glimmers.” — Francis Chan

46. “Women are, in my view, natural peacemakers. As givers and nurturers of life, through their focus on human relationships and their engagement with the demanding work of raising children and protecting family life, they develop a deep sense of empathy that cuts through to underlying human realities.” — Daisaku Ikeda

47. “You, who thought you were superfluous, who thought there was no place for you in society, not only are you not superfluous, you are needed, and so those who were beggars become givers.” — Abbe Pierre

48. “When you approach relationships by thinking about giving rather than getting, and about adding value before seeking value, you’ll be amazed at the return you see on your investment.” — Mark Goulston

49. “Every minute of every hour of every day, you are making the world just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.” — Rebecca Solnit

50. “Eve means ‘giver of life.’ I don’t think this redemptive calling to be a life giver is only biological. The life of Christ in us enables women to be life-givers, rather than life-takers, in every relationship, circumstance, and season of life.” — Gloria Furman

Are you a giver, a taker, or a matcher?

Professor Adam Grant specializes in psychology. 

He summarizes the different reciprocity styles by noting, “People tend to have one of three ‘styles’ of interaction. There are takers, who are always trying to serve themselves; matchers, who are always trying to get equal benefit for themselves and others; and givers, who are always trying to help people.”

There is no one correct way to engage in reciprocity. 

It is up to each of us to choose the form that best fits our personality. 

Each style is like a different tool we keep in our tool kit. 

A hammer is a powerful tool, but some jobs require different tools. 

Similarly, some interactions require different tools. 

You may have to adjust your reciprocity style based on with whom you interact. 

Please, be sure to let us know which givers and takers quotes and sayings were your favorite in the comments below. 

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