A central goal in developing middos is to value peace, to avoid hurting others, and to avoid conflict by being mevater (conceding) to the other person. Likewise, the key role that being a “giver” (a נותן) plays in good relationships is emphasized in all frum marriage guidebooks. This is very understandable since being a self-centered “taker” (a נוטל) will most certainly destroy relationships. It is not surprising, therefore, that many people conclude that the more giving people are the better their relationships will be, without an upper limit. In truth, however, any positive attribute taken to the extreme becomes unbalanced and destructive. This article will explore how “extreme giving” can undermine a relationship.
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