Why is receiving kindness so hard?

Why is receiving kindness so hard?

Yesterday, one of my oldest friends in the world came over to meet the baby for the first time while she and her husband were in town visiting her parents.

Before she came over, she texted me:

"We want to bring you dinner, so send me a few ideas of your favorite take out places.  Can't wait!"

Now, the old me would have said, "Oh, no way, girl.  You are not going to buy us dinner.  You're guests!  I'll cook for you!"

But that's the old me.

Not only do I have an infant, (which makes doing any task exponentially more difficult to complete on time), but for the last few years, I've been working on receiving.  

Does that make you feel all tight in the chest and uncomfortable?

It did for me, at first.

Women especially are HORRIBLE at receiving kindness.  We've got the giving thing down pat.  But when it is time for us to have open hands and say thank you, collectively (and bluntly), we suck.  So much so, Amy Schumer even has a sketch about it. (This link is the uncensored version.  Do not click if you're easily offended, you're with littles, or you're at work.) :-)

I recognized this in myself a few years ago, I think because of this business, actually.  I noticed that women were NEVER buying themselves gifts from Compliment, because HORROR OF ALL HORRORS, what would people think if we honored ourselves once in a while?



And worse!  What would my friend think of me if I let her buy me dinner?

I stumbled across this book and it literally CHANGED MY LIFE.  (<--- Seriously.)

All of a sudden, I started seeing all the ways I was blocking good and beautiful things from flowing into my life... for what?  

My pride?  


I realized that when I deflect that kindness it's like I'm tossing a beautifully wrapped package from a friend back at them.  "Nah.  This is garbage.  Try again."  What kind of jerk would do that?  

So little by little, I began simply saying, "thank you."  It was hard at first.  Now it's a little easier as I've been practicing this behavior.

Here's my response to my friend's text:

"Oh my goodness.  What an awesome treat!  There are a few places near us that are great!  Thank you thank you!  I can't wait!  I love you!"

We went about our visit later that night, catching up on the last year, about my new transition into motherhood.  And then, between baby snuggles, she said, "I just wanted to say how nice your response to my text was.  We were going to buy you dinner regardless, and it was rad to not have to belabor that with you.  I loved you just accepted it and let us love you.  I Thank you."

UM, HOW COOL IS THAT? (Did I mention I have pretty great friends?)

Do you have a hard time accepting kindness?  Why?

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1 comment
  • Melissa, Sometimes in the past, when I would have invited friends for dinner and they would say, “What can I bring?” I also, would respond, “Nothing”. But as time goes by, you realize, as you said, that you are depriving them of bringing something to you. So now, my respons, most of the time, is, "That would be great. Is there something special you would like to bring? You are right, It brings them pleasure, and you get the benefit. Love you, the mother of my only great grand son. Grammie Billie

    Billie on

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