For many people, myself included, giving is much easier than receiving - whether it is compliments, gifts, help, advice, or anything like that. Why?
I feel better when I am giving rather than receiving. Receiving makes me feel uncomfortable. Giving makes me feel helpful and selfless.
And whether or not we want to admit it, there is a sense or a subtle (or not so subtle!) feeling of being “superior”, “strong”, and “better than” when we give, and “inferior”, “weak”, and “lesser than” when we receive. So, it makes sense that receiving feels uncomfortable; no one wants to feel inferior, weak, and lesser.
While this isn’t true - receiving doesn’t actually make one inferior, weak, and lesser - it can certainly feel true.
And if it feels true for you, it is “real” for you.
Also, sometimes - or oftentimes - we feel we don’t deserve the compliments, gifts, or support we are being given. As if somehow “not deserving them” keeps us humble and away from pride. Because, as you know, “good” people are humble and not prideful. (Yet, ironically, receiving is one of the most humbling experiences…so maybe it is our pride that keeps us from receiving… Hmm.)
And the act of receiving challenges our “lack mentality”. When we are firmly set in believing that “there’s not enough” or “nothing comes easy” and then, boom, someone gives us something, it can be unsettling. We think, “that’s not the way the world works!”
But here’s something to consider…
You know how good it feels to give?
Well, where there is a giver, there must be a receiver; the giver has to give to someone.
Have you ever tried to give a gift to someone who doesn’t want it, who maybe gives it back, or refuses to accept it? How do you feel then? Not great.
But get this, as the receiver, you can give. When you accept the gift, compliment, or support from the giver, you give the giver the gift of receiving.
With this shift in perception and attitude, you feel better receiving because you are giving at the same time. As an added bonus, the giver feels good because he/she gave to someone willing and open to receiving. And the cherry on top, giving and receiving fosters relationship…so it’s good for your relationship, too! It’s a win-win-win.
Accepting a gift, compliment, or support is an exercise in personal growth; it keeps us humble and loosens our stronghold grip on the belief that there is not enough.
So, the next time you feel uncomfortable receiving, remember that it is an opportunity to give and to grow.
Here’s to conquering stress.
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