The Christmas Season is here and gift giving is at its prime; however, are you a good receiver? No, I’m not talking about football, but how well do you receive gifts?
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”Maya Angelou
I think most everyone is familiar with the adage “it is better to give than to receive.” While this is true, it is also true that “receiving” is a gift as well.
The Art of Giving
Giving is an act that brings both positive emotions for the giver and the receiver. We first learn how to give from our parents and friends. Birthday parties and Christmas are perfect examples of giving. Who doesn’t like receiving lots of beautifully wrapped presents?
There is one important aspect of giving which is our intent. Giving should always come from love with no strings attached. To do otherwise, will leave you disappointed and resentful.
Giving from a place of love is freeing and energizes your soul. It strengthens your relationships. People who are natural givers are also likely doers and caretakers.
The Art of Receiving
The art of receiving is often overlooked in the context of learning. Greater attention is placed on giving rather than receiving gracefully. The irony is that you cannot be a “good giver” if you cannot be a “good receiver”. This is because you can’t give away what you don’t have so we must allow ourselves to be filled and replenished by others.
How you receive compliments and praise is a good indicator of your mindset. If you deflect praise and minimize your efforts or contributions, then you are not a “good receiver”.
Receiving isn’t about whether you deserve the gift/praise, but rather a reflection of the friendship and love between people.
Why It Matters
Being a good receiver is important because you can’t give unless someone else “receives”. When you allow yourself to receive, you give others the chance to give and experience the happiness that comes with it.
When you aren’t willing to receive gracefully, you are actually denying the giver an opportunity to be generous. It is not selfish to allow others to be generous. In this, you show yourself vulnerable and able to let others take the lead.
The real reward of gifts and compliments is found in the strengthening of relationships. Receiving well connects us with others. We were not designed to live our lives in isolation. So, when someone offers a gift or compliment, receive it and give them the opportunity to be valued and appreciated.
While there will certainly be plenty of beautifully wrapped gifts under my Christmas Tree, not all gifts are tangible. Let’s be mindful of the time, care, affection and appreciation given to us by co-workers, friends and loved ones.
Give generously this Christmas Season and be a good receiver as well. In doing so, you will create deeper and more meaningful connections with the most important people in your life!
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough people get what they want.”Zig Ziglar