We all know the importance of giving in relationships, right?
We give love, support, affection, attention--hopefully, and we do it in the name of Love.
And some of us are natural-born givers.
We take a lot of delight in giving of ourselves, our time, our resources.
It feels good to give.
But what I've found too often with these notoriously generous givers (self-identified, recovering over-giver here) is that quite often they struggle to receive.
Now I can hear you already, "But, Eliza, it's better to give than to receive."
Trust me, I can attest to the joy there is in giving.
It's often a much-easier role to fall into than it is to open yourself up to receiving because receiving requires us to be vulnerable. (I'll talk more about that in another post though...)
But here's what Your Favorite Therapist wants you to know...
Being a good partner in a relationship (be that romantic, friendly, or familial) requires mastering the art of receiving.
"Oh, Eliza, but that sounds so selfish. I prefer giving without expectation."
I get it.
And it's a noble trait to give without expectation, so I'm not suggesting you start being a greedy, stingy taker.
Actually, please don't do that.
What I am suggesting is if a relationship is to be balanced (aside from parental relationships--especially when children are young--they're all about the taking) there must be an ongoing exchange of giving and receiving.
Think about it...
Can you remember a time when you were over-the-moon excited about a gift you bought for somebody?
Maybe they had been dropping hints that they really wanted this particular gift and you quietly took note.
Then, that special day comes around and you're going to give them the surprise of a lifetime.
You just can't WAIT to see their expression when they open the gift.
"Open it, open it" you rush them as they slowly unwrap it.
"Oh, come on...here I'll help you!"
You just can't wait any longer for them to just open it!
And when they do and you see how much they love the gift, you beam with pride and love.
It FEELS GOOD to give, right?
Okay...so now that you have identified how good it feels to give then remember this...every time you block someone from giving to you then you are blocking them from experiencing the joy of GIVING.
If it's better to give than to receive then someone has to take turns receiving!
Listen, I didn't make up the rules, I'm just here to highlight them for you.
Everything requires balance and flow.
Ying and yang.
Up and down.
Light and dark.
Give and receive.
So if you're notorious for blocking gifts, blessings...LOVE, then here is your challenge...
Allow yourself to receive.
It doesn't have to be material things either.
Say "thank you" when someone smiles and wishes you a good day.
Say "thank you" when someone compliments you.
Say "thank you" when someone surprises you with a small token of appreciation.
Say "thank you" when you wake up in the morning, feel your breath, and realize "this is the life I'm creating."
I promise, it will transform your life.
Your Favorite Therapist,
DISCLAIMER: THE RELATIONSHIP & SEXUAL WELLNESS CENTER blog is not intended to be a substitute for legal, ethical or medical consultation or for treatment and is strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. Nothing found on the website or email is a substitute for professional psychological, psychiatric or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition.