More Thoughts on Why We Suck at Giving and Receiving

In relationships, some of us gravitate towards being the giver, some of us like being the receivers, and a few of us are talented enough able to do both. I’ve always felt most comfortable assuming the role as giver and I’m continually learning to be a better receiver.

I enjoy giving, it makes me feel good. Whether its picking out the perfect gift or planning quality time with someone, I absolutely love it… but I’ve also realized at times, I give out of need for control. However, inevitably, as time goes by, I always realize its actually very much out of control, because I’ve essentially tied my worthiness as a human being to whether or not I feel received by the person I am giving to. Its like I think if I give just the right amount, in just the right way, that person will see how good I am. Only then, I’ll be able to “earn” the love that I need. And, if they don’t respond in the way I’m expecting or want, then that must mean I’m not good enough.

This kind of distorted thinking has led me to attracting partners who were takers or completely incapable of receiving. It’s gotten me stuck in a cycle of trying to prove my worth to people who aren’t even able to see it in themselves, let alone me.  Its almost funny now when I think about it, that I would continually choose the impossible instead of choosing someone with the eyes or heart to really see me. (I can be kind of stubborn with my life lessons at times lol)

Learning to receive can be uncomfortable, sometimes it makes me feel all “ack” inside. I haven’t always trusted that I deserve it, or that the person who is giving doesn’t have some kind of ulterior motive. I will literally question my worthiness while someone is giving to me instead of doing what the moment is asking me to do, which is to simply say thank you and let myself feel that good feeling. Sometimes I literally have to remind myself to breathe into my anxiety about receiving. Its as though receiving is this vulnerable moment where the universe saying to you, “you are worthy” and I’m still saying “but…am I? Really? I mean, are you sure?”

I think being an over-giver may stem from our childhoods. We might have not felt that we were good enough, but never understood the why. And without any kind of guide towards understanding our value, giving might be an attempt to in some way prove to the world that we matter. But again, this thinking will always be flawed, because we can never prove our worthiness to other people. Like love, or any other feeling, its something we create within ourselves, no one can give it to you. And we can try a million different ways of making things happen on the outside, but the universe will always point us back to what is inside. Because what is inside of you is what is what will be reflected back to you. Your value has to be something that you choose, you create and that you claim.

The bottom line is, we decide when we are worthy. We can either choose to be worthy when….when I lose 15 lbs, when I have a boyfriend, when I make a certain amount of money, etc….or we can choose to be worthy now. And for me, saying to myself that “I am worthy now!” is the piece of the puzzle I’ve been missing in learning to being able to receive in a way I haven’t let myself do before. Its got a deeper sense of power in it for me than just saying “I am worthy of ___”

We are only truly giving when we are giving without attachment, when we give out of abundance and trust. And, we can only truly receive when we no longer question our worthiness. When you think about it, the dance of giving and receiving with each other is so intimate and so beautiful. So if you know you’re still learning to give or receive like me, talk about it! Let your partner know. I bet they suck at some part of it too! Try to be patient with yourself as you work through those awkward “ack” feelings. Catch yourself if you’re giving with expectations. I know it won’t always be easy, but I promise you’ll get better at it. And the more you work through those junked up feelings and get out of your own way, I think you’d be surprised at how fulfilling giving and receiving can actually be!

Published by Lorena Gregory

Kansas City local, writer, proud pet, plant and art owner, lover of things that matter, sunshine, music and books. I'm a curious, optimistic person who cares big and laughs loud.

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