How Well do You Know How to Receive?

How many of us know how to receive love, receive help or how to receive gifts? The act of saying thank you to a compliment validates the giver of that compliment and completes exchange. Those of us who challenge the compliment or continue to debate their own worth and value, create an atmosphere of frustration.

“You are so kind and loving toward me, thank you.” Says one person to another.

“Actually, no, I’m not. I’m neither of those things.” Says the other. Just reading that one can feel the rejection of the well meaning, grateful person by the one who cannot accept such a beautiful compliment. How many of us do that very thing?

The difficulty is in simply saying, “thank you”. Even if we can’t see those aspects of ourselves, the other person does. It is possible to sit with a compliment without automatic denial of it and be comfortable, it just takes practice.

In my work, and in my life as a recovering alcoholic, people acknowledge things I’ve done and time taken with them, especially in their times of crises. There is no greater gift someone can give another than his or her time and attention. Giving, for me, is far more comfortable than receiving. It is uncomfortable when others are kind and loving toward me, yet the practice of accepting their acknowledgements whether as a therapist or friend is becoming more comfortable.

If one is not use to kindness it is generally considered more polite to not accept the compliment. “Please, don’t say that. If you really knew me you wouldn’t like me.” If not directly said, that is how we feel. With those words everyone involved is left empty.

Let’s talk about those times when simply saying ‘thank you’ to a compliment fills everyone with the completeness of the moment.

The joy in the moments of living and loving one another, honestly, are one of the greatest experiences on earth. They are not to be missed. In any relationship, couples, friends, family, we need to do more of these things. Hate and resentment are far too easy to live in, unfortunately. The time to accept compliments, to let in some of what is out there to feed our sad, hungry hearts is now.

Debra Whittam is the author of “I'm I Going to be Ok?" For any media inquiries or questions please contact:

#kindness #recognition #compliments

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