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June 11, 2009


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This thought came from something my daughter said. She likes to help and always has. My husband and I used to make up chores for her to do when she was little to keep her happy. (She once highlighted every other number in a phonebook.) Now that she is older and much more capable of doing substantial “work”, I feel hesitant to give too much to her. I let her know that she can be a kid and I can take care of the house. Then, one day, I asked her how she feels love. She responded, “when I help people”. And there it was. I was literally robbing her of feeling love by not giving her work! Now I receive her help with love and affection and gratitude. It feels better for both of us!

Beth Waterman

I am very bad at this! If someone says I look nice I downgrade the compliment by adding a "yes but" when I respond. One time someone said to me "Just say thank you" and that has stuck with me. I try to do that now but still enjoy the giving much more than the receiving!

Andrea Miller

Laura, You called me out on this one. Receiving has not come very easily to me. Thank you for your offer the other day at the park....I am willing to receive it :) Thank you!!

Tracy Whipple

Like Beth, I also used to downgrade the compliments that I received. I can't say that I am 100% comfortable with them yet, but I am more aware of my reactions to compliments and do my best not to rob the other person of the joy of giving them. I now view them as gifts and am more comfortable with each compliment I receive.


I love Beth's comment - I often say that to other people when they add their "yes, but...". I have done this often when it comes to receiving money, feeling like it was just "too big" of a gift to receive. Now I try to recognize ANY gift and allow myself to feel gratitude!

Jill Barber

Thanks to Laura, I have made great strides in being able to receive gratefully and graciously. I used to believe that being "strong and independent" meant that I could do everything on my own. Then I realized that nobody can do EVERYTHING on their own and who wants that anyway? Now when someone offers their help, and I know I can really use it, I just say, "Thanks, I'm going to take you up on that!" I can't even tell you how good it feels to receive and let someone else give. I feel more balanced now that I can willingly play both roles - giver and recipient.


Receiving seems to be a interesting topic for me. When I first looked at the question, I was thinking that - 'I don't have a problem with that'. If someone offers to buy lunch or help me, I truly appreciate it. I notice though that in my mind, I let it become an issue of - 'they have helped me so now I am going to help them'. It's not just an open ended appreciation but a matter of feeling like I want/need to extend in return. I think I like the idea of paying it forward rather than letting it be a one for one gratitude test/competition.

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