- We’re taught, “It’s better to give than to receive.” This phrase gives us the impression that receiving is somehow selfish and not a “good” thing.
- If we’re shy, we may feel embarrassed when someone gives us something so in an attempt to get past our discomfort we may change the subject or move on quickly which short-circuits the time we could spend graciously receiving the gift.
- Receiving from others can make us feel that now we “owe” the one who just gave us something. Whether that’s the intention of the giver or not, it can interfere with our ability to receive.
- If someone gives us something and we have nothing for them in return (and believe we should), we may feel guilty. Guilt can really mess up the receiving process.
- Receiving can carry the connotation of neediness and/or weakness and that may trigger our pride which makes receiving from others feel like we’ve failed in some way.
- It takes effort, energy and attention to be a good receiver and as we get busy and/or overwhelmed, opportunities to receive can get overlooked or ignored.
- Receiving graciously is a skill and a social grace that may be unrecognized, unfamiliar and/or never learned and therefore uncomfortable for many of us. [EXPERT]
The Art of Gracious Receiving
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Gracious receiving is more than writing or saying a polite or mechanical “Thank-you.” It’s one moment or several moments of our time and attention focused on responding to someone doing something for us or giving something to us. It’s slowing ourselves down long enough to acknowledge someone who’s trying to share some part of themselves or some thing with us. [EXPERT]
Here are 5 ways to become a more active receiver: