Are You as Good at Receiving as You Are Giving?

“Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…. Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.” ― Alexander McCall Smith

Have you ever had someone pay you a compliment and you wipe it away and proceed to tell them why they are incorrect? I’ve witnessed it many times. It’s usually women. Someone will say, “You look really nice today.”

She will smile and say, “This dress is old. I didn’t do anything special”, instead of owning the compliment and agreeing with the person.

We all focus on and talk about giving, but what about receiving? It’s rarely discussed, but it can be a huge hurdle to intimacy if you can’t accept and receive. It’s usually the people who are the most helpful to others who have the hardest time receiving. When I talk about receiving, it can be something as big as gifts or something as simple as a compliment. But, most people have a difficult time receiving help and love without realizing that they are standing in the way of two things they desire.

I used to have a friend who would refuse to allow anyone to give him gifts for his birthday. I tried to explain to him that his friends and family wanted to express their love for him with their gifts. He was more concerned with them wasting their money on him. But, I tried to get him to understand that it was less about the money for them and more about them feeling like they were apart of his happiness and expressing their love. By rejecting the gifts, he was also not allowing them show their love.

We also show love by showing up for one another in our time of need. If someone is in a difficult situation and you have something to give, you feel like you are caring for that person. If you are the type of person who doesn’t turn to anyone and only depends on yourself, you are not allowing others to show that they care about you. Everyone wants to feel needed.

When you receive love as it is given, you deepen the intimacy between you and that person. It can be a friendship, family member or lover, but it’s important to take your turn in receiving as well as giving. Sometimes, that person just wants to see your face light up, because giving makes them feel good. If you know the joys of giving, you have to allow others to feel that joy as well.

Are you a good receiver? The next time someone offers a compliment, just say, “Thank you.” Try it and see how it feels.

“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.” ― Brené Brown