I grew up with being told repeatedly that: “It is better to give than to receive.” All my life I lived out of this belief, giving unquestioningly, while I longed to receive. No one ever taught me how to receive. I did not know how to accept a compliment graciously, receive support without feeling obliged, or accept a kind gesture without the need to return it back, usually multiplied.

While I enjoyed giving, over time my inability to receive made me feel exhausted and depleted. I felt taken advantage of and resentful that people did not understand or respect my needs.

This is what can be called as over-giving. It essentially comes from an inability to receive. That means you give, give, give because you think (or hope) it will be appreciated, that you will be loved, or because it makes you feel good about yourself. Think about some of your relationships and try to be honest about whether your giving is from a healthy place or a depleted one?

It is important to know that while it is great to give, it is absolutely important to learn to receive as well. When we open ourselves to receiving, it raises our sense of worth and self-esteem. We recharge our emotional batteries. We fill our own cup. We make a deposit in our emotional bank balance. When we graciously receive, we nourish our soul. That fact is, we cannot run on empty batteries or give out of an empty vessel, isn’t it?

A good question to ask yourself is, between giving and receiving — which one is easier for you? Does it come a healthy generous place, or an empty one? An easy way to find out is to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you uncomfortable at the thought of asking for something?
  • Do you tend to put the needs of others before your own?
  • Do you try to convince others you are not that great?
  • Are you sensitive to rejection?
  • Have you ever secretly felt unworthy of the love, the money or the opportunities you receive?

If your answer is yes to most of the above statements, then chances are that you are an over-giver. It’s time to reaffirm to yourself that you are worthy of receiving. That you deserve love, support, appreciation and all the wonderful things coming your way. Learning to receive is the most powerful act of self-love!

Power tip

Experience the feeling of gratitude in every cell of your body, when anyone compliments you. Allow yourself to feel the childlike happiness when someone notices small seemingly insignificant things about you. Ask for help/support when you need it, knowing that you deserve it. Rejoice in receiving!

I give and receive freely and joyfully.
I am deserving of love and support.
It is easy for me to ask for what I want.
Giving and receiving is as effortless as breathing.
I am worthy of receiving all good in life.
All is well in my world.