17 thoughts on “3 Ways To Spot A “Taker”

  • April 3, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    It seems like i’m a taker .

  • April 6, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I’ve just ended a relationship with one of these. The real kicker is that takers often contribute more to society compared to “normal” or “good” people. A lot of the most successful CEOs fit the profile.

    They always look interesting from a distance, but once you get to know them.. ugh..

    The taker I shut out of my life has people raving about her behind her back. I my mind, I was like, well we’ll see. Nice piece though.

  • April 6, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Seems like you’ve read my mind. I’ve just cut off one of these from my life a couple weeks ago. What a relief. They are very annoying and insufferable.

    But they do make their way into high positions because of the ass-kissing.

    Anyway I’d rather have peace of mind when I work.

    • April 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm


      I agree, unfortunately, takers often do make their way into high powered positions — and for all the wrong reasons.

      Yet, I don’t know for all of their power they are any happier, as it seems to be that like narcissists, their need for control and praise comes form a sense of inadequacy that cannot seemed to be quenched.

      Hats off to you for choosing peace of mind! (My choice too.)

      Claire Nana M.A.

      • April 13, 2015 at 11:50 pm

        Very well put. The so called ” takers ” get far in the material world because they shut out their conscience as to who they may hurt, use, etc.
        I just stumbled upon your blog, Claire. I will be looking up your published work, you seem to put things into terms that are easy to grasp.
        Question: I think I avoid material success because something about my observations of the afirementioned taker, or narcissistic type, just kill my energy. I don’t really care what people think of me, I don’t seek affirmation- but I think I avoid things because if the effect the common jerk has on me. And then I can be aggressive when protecting my ethic, to the point where I might give the impression of wanting to lash out at users who breach my boundaries.
        Which of your articles or books might help me balance better?

      • April 14, 2015 at 10:52 am

        Hi Jason, Thanks for your comment and I’m glad the blog was helpful.

        You know, I’d really recommend my new book, LEVERAGE: The Science of Turning Setbacks into Springboards, as it talks about how to use difficult situations to draw out and develop needed skills. It will be available next week sometime and I will put links on the blog when it is.

        In the meantime, I’d suggest just scrolling through the archives to find any articles that appeal to you.


  • April 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Keep in mind that folks with Asperger’s can display overly friendly smiles or try to be nice in order to fit in. It’s an ability we learn in order to be seen as socially acceptable (when some of us don’t really know how to act or what to say, or don’t even know we are giving off that vibe!) Please keep that in mind if you meet someone who ‘seems’ fake or not genuine. It isn’t always a symptom of being a taker. I can see how someone would read this and make that mistake.

    • April 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Yes you are absolutely correct, takers (I think best equated to Narcissism) and those with Aspergers can look alike in terms of inability to read others emotions and their impact on them. The difference, I believe, is that typically Narcissists lack empathy, whereas those with Aspergers have empathy, although it not always appear so. Interestingly, when I was running an equine therapy program I saw many Aspergers, and the effect they had on the horses was always quite unique: a marked calming influence. Narcissists, on the other hand, tended to make the horses quite nervous and agitated.

      Claire Nana LMFT

  • April 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Hmmm…what I call “takers” is people I know that want to participate in some activity with me…but want me to do all the work.

    In the past I would do all the planning for a bike trip. Then ask one of them to help a bit on the road…no I’m just following you.

    Now a days I’m out of biking and into off roading in my Polaris RZR side-by-side. Again, I’m expected to plan the trip, make all the reservations, lead each day’s ride, bring all the tools, do everything to assure “they” have a good time.

    So I’m beginning to separate myself from these people. I’m getting much better at saying “this is what we’re doing, if you want to come along here’s the information.” Interestingly, most are falling away. If Stuart won’t do all the work to show us a good time, then we’ll do something else. Fine with me!

    But this has been my definition of “taker”…I do all the work and they contribute nothing.



    • April 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks for your comment, and I think takers can be a bit of a broad term. However, essentially, they are characterized by a feeling of superiority — which is expressed through using people (takers use both those below and those above). Certainly, it’s foreseeable that this feeling could be expressed through expecting others to do more than their share as you mention.


  • April 14, 2015 at 11:00 am


    Read your comment this morning. Don’t see that I can reply to you, so I’ll just post another comment.

    Interesting that you are avoiding the “material world” if you will, in an effort to avoid “takers”. But where does that leave you? Are you avoiding things you might really enjoy in this life as a means of avoiding others? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    I’m just about to turn 61, have had my life completely turned upside down more times that I can remember in this life. But I continue to work very hard to enjoy this life. And I guess to me that includes material things. Somewhere in this life I developed a strong sense that material success lead to an enjoyable life. I dunno, I guess that’s just how it came to me. There are times I’m not sure at all, and there are other times it seems very assuring.

    If you are avoiding “takers” and material things. What is your life made of? I’m a severe TBI survivor, doing simply incredibly well, but I’m learning, the past nearly 7 years, that I cannot “withdraw”. I have to keep working to rebuild my life, social groupings and getting out in the world. That has meant getting involved with “takers” and then learning to let go of those relationships and work to build new ones. Slowly it would seem my circle of friends is becoming those that are “givers”, if you will. I can’t be afraid to make new acquaintances. I have to keep trying.

    I wonder if “takers” ever recognize that’s what they are and work to change? That would be an interesting study wouldn’t it.

    Well, here I am not doing very well at putting my thoughts together. Hope I didn’t offend. Off to work in my shop, by myself for today.

    All the very best,


    Oh another thought I will share here. Years ago those of us in management were required to take the Myers-Briggs personality predictor program. I’m an ISTJ. One of the feedback comments is “people like you are often seen as having ice in their veins”. So I was the ICEMAN for many years. Always willing to help out, always doing the planning, always working to make everyone in the group successful. Then comes the TBI which included trauma to the left optic nerve and thus total blindness of the left eye. I wore an eye patch for several months as a means of letting the “public” know that if I stepped in front of them, or turned and bumped someone, or couldn’t see the obvious…there was a reason. I began to pay attention to people, pictures, artwork, whatever with eye patches…yup…Pirates!! So I picked my new moniker as PIRATE. I use it on the five on-line forums that I participate in. My shop and off road machine are well marked with artwork of the Pirate. So it goes. Makes me happy and that is all that counts!

    Yup, Pirate

    • April 15, 2015 at 10:03 am


      You put your thoughts together quite well, actually.
      I would say I feel I have not pursued my full potential, although I am good at what I do, was classified gifted at a young age (3), and have a love for learning and doing things- I’m a musician by trade, which means I have to wear a lot of hats- corporate gigs, weddings/ studio work, pitching ad music, being an instructor, etc.
      I find that my experience with, and observation of ( the damage so thoughtlessly done by ) climber types with a sort of near sociopathic sense of entitlement has had me back out of potential advancement situations, because I cannot stomach those types, but I don’t have the heart to knock them down, either- I don’t know what made them that way, and I don’t want to waste my time finding out. I love the world, I cherish the opportunity to learn, I’m still learning how to deal-
      Thank you for sharing what you did, I’m still processing everything you told me.
      Pirate- what started your last seven years of learning to not withdraw ? A few nuggets of that operant wisdom would be something I could really dig in to-
      Thank you again,

      • April 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm


        The seven year journey not to withdraw came from my cognizant skills therapist after the TBI. Kept asking at every session who I had been with, what had I done that got me outside of myself.

        Second was a very good friend and neighbor. I have a 94 acre place, everything is up on a bluff and 3/4 mile from the county road. So it would be very easy to be a hermit and stay up on the bluff, in the house, in my shop and just be by myself. And I would probably develop dementia in a few years and be either locked up or dead. So neighbor is always after me to come down to his shop, business, and talk and contribute to design projects, go to lunch, just spend time together.

        I’ve also worked at developing a circle of e-mail “pen pals”. One is a person I knew in the past. The others I met via forums I participate in. Sitting down and writing a “letter” of what’s going on and what’s coming up is enjoyable for me. And I always get responses. Keeps me active on another level.

        Developing a social circle of friends…that’s very hard for me. From birth to age 12 I was an Army brat. We moved fairly often, and you never saw a single friend from one posting to the next. So I’ve never developed life long friends. I make friends, but when career moved me on. Started over. If I saw old friends it was great, but never made an effort to stay in touch.

        So I’m trying to make friends through my current passion…my Polaris RZR and off roading trips. Sadly, so far all but one has been a “taker”. But I’m going to keep trying!!

        Now…one that’s sad and different. My Dad is a retired physician. Knees were going south in about 1987. Got him to come with me to see the Orthopedic Surgeon for a follow-up on my broken bones in a bike wreck in August 1984. Dad came, Surgeon did a full work-up. Yup, knees are gone and need replaced. OK let’s plan it. A couple of days later Dad changed his mind and refused to have the surgeries. By 2000 there are stair climbers in the house, Dad spent most of his time just sitting in his chair in the living room. By 2005 Dad’s just sleeping in the chair and showing signs of dementia. By 2010 Dad’s in a nursing home as the dementia has progressed to the point that Mom can no longer take care of him. Today, Dad is 92, health is good, but in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, doesn’t recognize me, and cannot participate in a conversation at all. So that has me working very hard to keep my brain active!!!

        Hope you find this interesting an helpful!


    • April 15, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Thanks for your reply, I will order the book, and continue reading.

    • April 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, I know I have work to do-
      I’m sorry to hear about your Dad, you are definitely the kind of person who doesn’t send your representative to talk to people-
      If you know what I’m saying.
      I am similar in that regard, I don’t have time for putting on a face-
      Agree with you on social interaction, it’s needed-
      And brain exercise- needed
      And doing the things that are ones passion–
      Appreciate your statements,
      Very honest, and helpful

  • April 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Great article Claire, too many people don’t recognise takers until they have been TAKEN, and many people don’t realise they are takers either. I run a business networking organisation and see takers all the time, and hear of people being taken so I’d like to share this article with my members if I may. Cheers Claire.

    • April 16, 2015 at 6:27 am

      So glad to hear you found my article helpful — especially in your industry. Certainly, feel free to share.
      All the best,



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