Are You An Energy Giver or Energy Taker?

When growing up you are oblivious to the real world. Things like Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and magic are all tings that you believe in. At some point reality sets in and you find out for the most part, those mythical things are not real but those of imagination. Growing up one wants to believe that everyone is nice and will never hurt you. Unfortunately you also find out that is not the case as well.

I don’t understand why the world has to be so complicated. If you show loyalty for people it shouldn’t be so far fetched for that person or people reciprocate and try to help you. At the age of 37 I’ve come to the conclusion that 85% of the people one comes in contact with has no intention of helping you at all.

There are so many people in the world that hate to see others succeed. I was raised by my mom and dad to help others. It doesn’t matter if the person is my boss or a down and out charity case if you can make their lives easier there is no thinking involved. From the age of a young child to now the only way I’ve known is to be there for people 24/7 without any thought of reciprocation.

Only recently have I’ve started to take personal inventory of the people that have come into my life and categorized them. For the most part I’ve never given it much thought, but in recent months it’s been an obsession of mine to evaluate the people in my life and what their intentions are. The older I get the less time I have for people that are just our for themselves.

Family members, colleagues, and significant others should all be evaluated. There are certain questions that you should ask about these people. Here are some of the questions that I ask

How much energy has this person spent trying to help you compared to the energy that you spend on them?

Do they ever call to check up on you or is every communication asking for a favor?

When life gets hard for you is this person there for you?

When you need to lean on this person for a favor is it like pulling teeth?

Has this person ever reached out to try to help you out of the blue without you asking them?

All of the questions above should be asked about everyone in your life. You may seem to think that I am crazy, but I guarantee you the earlier in life that you take this inventory the better your life will be. Unfortunately the majority of society is filled with selfish people. Part of the blame is a tough upbringing where they weren’t taught the nurturing gene and part of it is along the way they acquired a sense of entitlement.

Most people in life won’t help you or look out for you and it is up to you to identify these people and distance yourself from them. Unfortunately, you may be stuck in a situation where you work for this person and can’t afford to get away from them. In that situation obviously continue to work for them, but understand there will be little chance for you ever to move ahead.

There are two categories that I put people in and those are energy givers and energy takers. It is really important that you establish early what the people in your profession and life are. As you get older you understand that your time and energy are so valuable to you and wasting either one does you no good. When you are young and trying to establish your identity it doesn’t matter if the person that you are working with or for has your best intentions at heart. At the younger stage of your life say before the age of 24 your goal should be to get as much experience as possible. There should be an age in which you become more self aware of the people in your life and what their intentions are. Lets go into the two types of people and what to take from each.


Since this group is the most common, I think that it is very important to identify them first. Energy takers are the people that never have your best interest at heart. They are people that will take from you all day long without a thought of trying to reciprocate your energy. They either are in your life every day or show up from time to time.

Energy takers are the ones that never call to check up on you and just continue to ask for things. It could be a boss that just continues to pound you with work and never thank yo for the extra time of effort that you put it. They also can be a relative or friend that can care less what is happening in your life and expects you to always be there for them.

Like I said before the earlier that your an separate from the energy takers in your life the better that you will be. Believe me you don’t need the headaches or the drama in your life. For the most part these people will never change so they don’t get better with age. Trying to reform them or believe in them is the same philosophy that troubled couples make when they think that marriage and/or kids will better their relationship.

You need to be around the people that are grateful for the energy that you put into them. The people that will try to help you as well as challenge you to be better. This philosophy is a two way street as you need to show dedication and loyalty to them to earn that trust.For young people reading this article, you many think that it is not important to do this, but there will come a time in your life when you are sick of the madness and just want to be around positive people.

Being around negative people just suck the energy out of you and it effects the way that you operate in your everyday life. Until you do a personal inventory you may not understand what type of toll this is taking on your life. Energy takers are very tough to be around on a consistent basis especially when you need to depend on them for anything. Again, you may be forced to work for an energy taker and you need to do what is best for you but never depend on them or they will break your heart.


Energy givers are the people that are obviously the complete opposite of energy takers. They are the people that look out for you and try to help you in every way , shape, and form. They understand that you are loyal to them and work hard for them. THey are happy to reciprocate your loyalty to them and in some cases go above and beyond what you do for them.

These people are very rare in life. It is hard to find someone that has the power to help and actually look out for you. Sometimes you can go your whole life without having the opportunity to be around an energy giver as they are very hard to find. People today for the most part are very selfish and want to manipulate people into thinking they will help them when they really never do so.

Energy givers as far as boss in concerned are the ones that will always try to promote you within their own company or try to get you better jobs somewhere else. An energy giver sometimes won’t be in a position to or have the power to help you move on and that is ok. Not everyone that you come in contact with has to be someone that can advance your career. As long as that person is loyal to you and reciprocates your positive energy they are great to be around.

Energy givers take up about 15% of the population and that is very sad. Like I stated before maybe that is how they are brought up to be and you have to understand that. Not everyone grows up in a household that is healthy and for the most part are doomed from the start. It is very hard to find people that are looking to help others for the most part that is not how the majority of people’s brains are wired,

Cherish the people that try to help you in life. They don’t come along often, and when they do try to emulate them and get as much information about their habits as you can. Life is so much better when you are helping people and around selfless people that are always looking for people to mold. The world will be a much better place with more energy givers in it.


I come into plenty of people in all levels high school, college, NBA that are working for people that can care less if they were set on fire or not. They spend hours doing every job possible to make their bosses lives easier with no signs of reciprocation. With al of the work that their people do for them they never pick up a phone to try to get them opportunities elsewhere or promote them from within their organization.

The sense of entitlement with most, but not all of basketball is ridiculous. So many people in all walks of life of the sport are taken advantage of. They do so much to help they bosses spending 16 hours a day in offices or working in some capacity and all they expect in return is a little loyalty. There are so many people in basketball that have power to help good people, but choose not to for no reason at all.

Most has to do with for the most part people do’t want to see others succeed. We live in a paranoid society instead of one filled with mentors and motivators. There are so many people that aren’t comfortable in their own skin that hold powerful positions in the sport. It is a shame that there weren’t more people that reach out and try to help.

As a player you will play for energy givers and takers as well. There are coaches or others that will use you for your ability to open doors for them. They will appear to have your best interest at heart until the day that you can’t perform anymore and that is when they will move on to someone else. It could be a club coach or trainer that you pay thousands of dollars to and they never look to call coaches or help you improve.

As a player at any level you need to be aware that there are great coaches and people to be around that will look out for you. The ones that get paid hardly anything and want to spend hours at a time working on your game. That coach that will call all types of college coaches to try to recruit you to put you in the best possible position. Energy givers are the ones that will try to give you an opportunity and never ask for anything. The energy takers will act like your friend and use you for your ability. They won’t pay any attention to the lesser players and will never open any doors for them.

All I can say is if you are in basketball and your boss doesn’t look to promote you and is taking advantage of you work try to leave this person as soon as its heavenly possible to do so. Again , this may be your only option so if you need to stay obviously stay. If this person has no respect for you, but you can move on to something else by all means stay. As long as you are honest about your situation and your boss’s or co-worker’s motives are then you are ok.

Basketball is a very tough nut to crack as far as trying to obtain a job and move up. Like anything else it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and luck. These jobs don’t grow on trees and you have to do a lot of things that you don’t want to do to get to a high level. It is sort of like the journey Andy Dufresne made crawling through that 1/4 mile of crap to escape from Shawshank prison to get to freedom. Hard work is good, and when you are young you should get beat up a little bit it builds character. As long as your boss has your best interests in heart you should do anything for them. The only issues that I have with this is when bosses take advantage of this hard work. In my opinion all bosses should look out for their hard working employees to try to help them with opportunities either with their company or somewhere else. Unfortunately not all people are wired the same.


This is a subject that really upsets me. Everyone on their road to anywhere has had help. No one has walked the earth and acquired everything in life without the help of someone. There is at least 1(for me there’s about 12) person that has helped open a door or mentored you to where you are today.

What upsets me with this idea is that most energy takers take the help, but never do the same to anyone else. Here they are in a position of power because or a person or people and when the time comes a long where they can mentor others they choose not to do so. That is the most sad and pathetic part of life/basketball that I come into contact with. Most people call it “forgetting where you come from”.

It’s a shame that there are so many people that will choose not to help people or in some cases go out of their way to hurt people not get ahead. My friend Billy told me once that usually people who do this have too much time on their hands. That’s when people start to see “tigers on the wall”(Leo Papile Quote). I don’t understand people’s thinking when they choose not to help when they needed help themselves to get to a certain point. It is what it is I guess.

Never forget the people that made it possible to sit in the chat that you are sitting in today. Understand that you were once a young pup that was wet behind the ears and lost and life and someone camp to your rescue.


My number of 85% refers to what I’ve observed. It may not be relevant in everyone’s life. I’ve been in basketball for 18 years and that number may be a little low. Most people that I’ve come in contact with in the sport are energy takers. They call me only when they need something never calling to check in.

Be careful not to have a sense of entitlement and only make connections with people that you think that can help you. Be friendly to everyone as not all of them are in positions of power to help you. Their loyalty and friendship should be enough for you to want to be around. Too many young people are one way people that only look to better themselves and never try to make others better. Our society is breaking down because of the overpopulation of energy takers and not enough people that try to help out of the betterment of others.

All my life I’ve been around people that sucked the life and energy out of me. At the age of 37 I am finally realizing that these people are not good for me and there is no reason to be around them. They are self centered one way people that being nothing positive to the table. I am becoming more positive and only want to be around people that make me feel good not people that are always criticizing.

The problem for me is that I always try to help everyone that is how I was born and raised and I don’t want to change that. I never try to help someone or do something for someone expecting something in return. I’ll make countless calls and open opportunities for others even if they can’t help me in any way. I think the world should be simple where if you do good for others they will do good for you, but I know that is a dream that died a long time ago. One of my mentors George Raveling spends most of his days on earth trying to better others. Being around him more has opened my eyes even wider on the subject. He is the most selfless human I’ve ever met and am blessed to have had the opportunity to be his friend.

In closing all I can tell the people that are reading this article that helping people is the best feeling one can ever have. There aren’t many people out there that are in position to mentor and shape others. It’s a wonderful feeling to help others get ahead and you never know how good it feels unless it you try to do it for yourself.