Why do we prefer to give than to receive?

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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Many of us have grown up believing that there is more joy in giving than there is in receiving. This belief has been instilled in us for years and has protected us from becoming self-centered monsters who continue to scan the environment to see what they can get out of it.

Thus, we have learned to recognize the needs of others and to respect their feelings by showing ourselves sensitive to their requests.

But the constant emphasis placed on the virtue of giving has made us forget that it is also important to know how to receive. In fact, when in a relationship one of the two people does not know how to receive, they end up building a wall around them that distances the other. In all relationships it is essential to be able to find the right compromise between giving and receiving. Therefore, it is essential to reflect on the reasons that lurk at the bottom of this imbalance.



5 reasons why receiving is more difficult than giving

  1. Giving more of what we receive is an excuse to defend our intimacy

Giving means approaching the inner world of the other in order to discover their emotional, social and material needs. Only in this way can we help him. However, when we receive, it is the other person who approaches our inner world to assess what we need. This means that we will have to open up, something we are not always willing to do, because we are afraid and feel vulnerable. This is why many people prefer to give than to receive. Thus they manage to keep everyone else out of their privacy.

  1. Receiving involves, in a sense, the loss of control

 


When we give, the feeling of control increases because we feel we have a certain power over the other person. Not in a negative sense, but only in the sense that we have control over what is happening, we have control of the situation that is at hand. And we all, to some extent, are addicted to this feeling of control. However, when we receive, we are giving up control to someone else, we are giving up power and this creates uncertainty and fear.


  1. We reject the gift or praise because we think we don't deserve it

 

Most of us grew up receiving praise when we got good grades, when we successfully completed a certain activity, or when we won a prize in a sports competition. This means that we have been taught to be recognized for what we do and not for who we really are. As you can imagine, this attitude contributes to creating a lack of trust every time we receive something from others, a distrust that is based on self-esteem and the belief that we are not worthy of the praise or the gift they are offering us, because all in all, we are not recognizing our work and effort, but simply our person.

  1. We are reluctant to receive because we consider it selfish

Over the years, we have been hammered by the idea that if we get more than what we give it is because we are selfish and narcissistic people, unable to care for others. There are people for whom this idea has penetrated so deeply that they continually put the needs of others above their own happiness. However, we must consider that the act of giving or receiving must find the right balance otherwise we run the risk of neglecting our needs, dreams and goals. And if, by doing so, we turn into unhappy people, how can we "give" happiness to others?


  1. Receiving involves compromising oneself

Some people, when they receive a compliment or a gift, ask themselves: "What does this person want from me?", "What is behind this gesture?" This idea is based on the belief that when we receive something we are obliged to pay the favor, as if it were a debt. Obviously, the prospect of feeling compromised terrifies us and for this reason we sometimes prefer to be the ones who give, the ones who compromise the other. But let us always remember that the act of giving freely must be absolutely disinterested, one should not expect anything in return.


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