Did you ever resist a friend’s offer to treat you for an event, movie, meal, etc.? I did. Many years ago, my girlfriend and I were sitting at the table and reading the menu of a fine restaurant. When Denise mentioned that she was treating. I smiled and said, “No you are not.” The persevering accountant smiled back and replied, “Are you going to deprive me of the gift of giving?” I was speechless for a few seconds. I had never thought about it that way. “That is brilliant!” I exclaimed.
From then on, I never again declined an offer for being treated, as long as there were no expectations. The giving I am referring to is unconditional. Denise enjoyed the good feelings that came with giving to others. I knew and felt that there were no conditions attached.
Some people won’t allow themselves to receive because they do not feel worthy. The truth is that we are all worthy to receive no matter what we did or said in the past. I suggest that you graciously accept other people’s unconditional offerings by expressing your gratitude. Then you give them the gift of giving and yourself the gift of receiving.
Do you enjoy giving to others? Are you resisting this pleasurable act because you are concerned that if you give they will feel obligated to you? I suggest that you offer unconditionally and if they resist you can smile and say, “Are you going to deprive me of the gift of giving?”
Balancing giving and receiving are ways to nurture yourself and reduce your level of stress. It is also a sign of higher self-esteem. You may give to someone and receive from another. Look for ways to give unconditionally, with no expectations, and it will come back to you. Allow yourself to receive and “fill up your basket” so that you can keep giving. Then you can be happier and healthier, and improve your relationships with everyone, including friends, relatives, and your children and loving partner.
The following are 34 suggestions of how to nurture yourself by giving and receiving.
Put a check next to the things you want to do.
I am unconditionally receiving by asking someone to:
___1. serve me breakfast in bed.
___2. give me a massage.
___3. be my chauffeur for a period of time.
___4. work with me on a project (hobby, chore, etc.).
___5. make all the plans for a date and surprise me.
___6. take pictures of me as I pose.
___7. feed me.
___ 8. wash my hair or back.
___ 9. call me and say something nice on my answering machine.
___ 10. sing or dance with me.
___ 11. take me away for a day or a weekend.
___ 12. tell me what they like about me.
___ 13. help me find something that I need or want.
___ 14. listen to my problem and offer me suggestions.
___ 15. take a walk, hike, or bike ride with me.
___ 16. pick up a DVD or video and watch it with me.
___ 17. help me cook something special.
I am giving unconditionally by:
___ 1. sending a nice card or letter to someone.
___ 2. telling people what I appreciate about them.
___ 3. giving a present (for no specific reason).
___ 4. bringing or sending flowers to someone.
___ 5. treating someone to a meal and/or a show.
___ 6. paying the toll for the car behind me.
___ 7. sending money to charity.
___ 8. volunteering my time.
___ 9. becoming a Big Sister or Big Brother.
___ 10. being friendly to someone who is lonely.
___ 11. inviting a lonely person to my party.
___ 12. calling someone from my past.
___ 13. giving a massage.
___ 14. serving someone breakfast in bed.
___ 15. doing a good deed.
___ 16. leaving a kind message on my answering machine.
___ 17. calling someone and leaving a complimentary message on their machine.
Now that you have some ideas of how you can give and receive unconditionally, include them in your daily schedule. Congratulate yourself for being open to nurturing yourself by giving and receiving!