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Giving and receiving — which one is easier for you?

Some people find it easier to give than to receive, while others would rather be the one receiving than giving.

Most people have a preference for one over another.

But giving and receiving are equally important.

The theme for this month’s self-love project is giving and receiving. Let’s start by exploring why some people love to give than to receive.

Why Some People Find It Easier to Give than to Receive?

Giving has a lot of benefits. One of them is it makes you happy. When you give something to others and see how your contribution makes a difference to someone else’s life, it makes you happy. This is the power of altruism. 

Studies have shown that you are happier when you spend money on someone else than on yourself. It’s more memorable when you buy a gift for someone else than to buy yourself a gift. This explains why many self-help gurus such as Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield list “contribution” as one of the areas for growth.

They Feel Unworthy of Receiving

The inability to receive might be a sign that you lack self-love.

Some people find it hard to receive because they believe they don’t deserve to receive (whether they are conscious of it or not). For example, when someone gives you a compliment:

  • do you gladly accept it and say “thank you”, or
  • do you find some excuses or reasons why you don’t deserve that compliment?

If you are always uncomfortable to receive compliments or gifts, it might be something you want to explore further. It could be a sign that you lack self-love.

They Feel More in Control When They Give

Another reason why it’s harder for some to receive is that they don’t want attention on themselves.

When we give, the focus is on the other party — the receiver. When we receive, the focus is on us. We have no control over what we receive. And what we receive may not always be positive or ideal. Negative feedback, brutally honest advice, gifts that you don’t care for… all these might not sit too well with some of us.

Receiving Is Perceived as Something Negative

Do you see giving as positive and receiving as negative?

And finally, some people have skewed perceptions of giving and receiving. They might think:

  • Receiving is only for the less fortunate.
  • Giving is selfless and receiving is selfish.
  • It’s not right to receive without giving back.
  • If I receive help means I can’t do it myself.
  • Giving means I’m a good person.

The dark side of giving is an inflated ego. Sometimes, people give to feed their own ego. Giving makes them feel worthy, important, and superior. They reject receiving because it makes them feel needy and inferior to others.

Now, let’s explore the other side — why some people find it harder to give?

Why Would Some People Rather Receive Than to Give?

They Believe They Do Not Have Enough

The main reason that stops people from giving is they believe in scarcity. They believe they don’t have enough resources such as money and time. And They believe the more they give away, the less they would have.

For most people, money and time represent more than money and time.

Some people identified themselves with money. Giving away money is like giving a part of themselves away. To them, money represents more than money. It could represent:

  • Security. I might be sick. I might lose my job. I don’t know what will happen in the future. It’s better to keep more money with me.
  • Love. If I have lots of money, I could buy myself what I love and that makes me feel loved.
  • Power. With money, my child or spouse would listen to me. I have control over others when I have money.
  • Freedom. When I have money, I could do whatever I love. I don’t have to work if I don’t want to.

Giving money away to them means they have less security, love, power, and freedom.

You can’t blame them for being selfish or helpful. Scarcity is what we have been conditioned to believe. We are taught that there weren’t enough resources for everyone. We are taught to compete with one another for resources. Our ego wants us to get more and more stuff because we believe it would make us happy.

All of us had a scarcity mindset at one point in our life. And because we believe in lack, we tend to accumulate what we receive and aren’t willing to give.

They Believe They Have Nothing to Give

How could I give when I have nothing to give?

Another reason why people don’t give is that they believe they have nothing to give. It’s not that they are unwilling to give or they think they don’t have enough. It because they believe they don’t have anything that is worth giving. This goes back to the issue of low self-esteem and lack of self-love.

Being the receiver reaffirms that they aren’t good enough and they are powerless. This is especially true when we are kids. We are so used to being the receiver. We depended on our parents for survival. And we don’t realize that we have the power to give too even when we become adults.

Giving and Receiving: Is It Better to Give Than to Receive?

No, I don’t think so.

The best way to grow is to balance giving and receiving. In fact, they are equally important and one can’t exist without the other. It’s the universal law of giving and receiving.

Giving can’t exist without receiving. And receiving can’t exist without giving.

When someone gives, there must be another one who is receiving, otherwise, the act of giving is incomplete. And if no one gives, then no one can receive.

Giving and receiving is a cycle that is repeated every day. They provide circulation. When you buy something, you give money to someone else who receives it. He or she then uses the money for something else. Money gets circulated every day. If no one gives and everyone accumulates, then the economy would be a standstill. No value would be exchanged and no money would be circulated.

This is the same as the human body. When we take in oxygen, oxygen gets circulated in our body through our blood and we have to give something back in return — carbon dioxide. The universe gives you oxygen, you receive it. You give carbon dioxide back to the universe and plants receive it during photosynthesis. Every living thing in this universe is created to give and receive. Once you stop giving and receiving, you stop growing.

Giving is receiving. And receiving is giving.

When you give, you receive a good feeling. And when you receive, you give people a chance to give.

The act of giving and receiving requires you to put out your hands and reach out to another person. Isn’t that a beautiful way to connect with another person?

Keep giving and receiving. Don’t stop the flow and break the cycle.

Featured Photo Credit: helping hands / Jessica Lucia