Living JuicyHow do you feel about receiving? Gifts, compliments, praise, love, help, suggestions, money? There is definitely an art to receiving graciously and gracefully. Receiving gives others an opportunity to be generous, to feel good about themselves. Have you ever caught yourself  keeping score? Such as, she paid for coffee so I need to reciprocate in some way or she treated me to lunch so I should pick up the tab next time. One of my favorite people, SARK, states in her latest newsletter  “Most people carry around some kind of internal scorecard about what they’ve been given, so that they can “repay” it in some way. That way, their receiving has limits and controls and is “fair.” Some of this behavior is fun and natural- giving back after you’ve been given to- and some of it is a form of blocking receiving.” What would happen if the next time you received a compliment, you simply said thank you? How would the giver feel? How would you feel? Awareness is the first step in learning how to receive gracefully. Practicing on a daily basis will allow you to receive with gratitude and humility.

What about you? How do you block receiving in your life? How can you become comfortable in receiving from others? If you have been keeping score, how can you let go of this practice? What would happen if you allowed others to reach out to you in the spirit of giving? How will you benefit when you allow yourself to receive graciously and gracefully?

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Art of Receiving
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9 thoughts on “The Art of Receiving

  • June 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I generally don’t worry about “scorecards” when I am receiving, but I also try to be open about giving without expectation of return as well. I have run afoul of people who give only in the expectation of receiving later, and their scorecards are meticulous indeed. Worse, they don’t tell you this is one of their conditions until after you have failed them!

    Another aspect of gracious receiving is being grateful for gifts you neither want nor can use.

  • June 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Yes that scorecard, who do I owe. I learnt a long time ago how nice it is for me and the other person to say thank you and accept a compliment. While reading this I think of the playdates i avoid because I don’t want to reciprocate and the awkwardness of allowing someone to pay for a coffee. Still some work to be done. Great post.
    By the way I adore SARK too.

    • June 28, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Thanks for your comments Karen! Learning everyday, that’s my motto:)

  • June 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I’m SO much better about this than when I was younger. Fairness was hugely important to me and I didn’t want to think of myself as not being fair and equitable in all transactions. But now I see how it’s all just a beautiful flow – and there is a delicious balancing point where you can dance in reciprocity. Giving and receiving without measuring. Lovely reminder Nancy.

    • June 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Giving and receiving without measure, well said! Love your phrase dancing in reciprocity.
      Thanks for your comments Deborah.

  • June 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Oh, I find myself thinking about that all the time…someone did something for me so I need to return the kindness. This a great article about the importance of sometimes just receiving! Thank you for the reminder.

    • June 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Being open to receiving without an agenda, what a challenge for some of us. Learning everyday:)

  • June 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I agree that it’s an art in itself because you want to be gracious and also help the giver feel good about their action/gift. It’s so annoying when it doesn’t go well! Compliments are the hardest to accept sometimes.

    • June 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Naomi, I practice saying thank you when I receive a compliment and then zip my lip. Thanks for your comments:)

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