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Accepting help from others can be difficult. especially for someone who has low self-esteem.
Even for high self-esteem people, they can be too proud to accept help from others as they perceive it as a sign of weakness.
You want to do everything yourself. You want to be the one providing help to others. But what if one day you aren’t able to do so?
That day will come. There will be a day when we would get old and we need help from others. Then what would we do?
Sometimes, elderly people might feel a sense of unworthiness because they aren’t able to do what they used to anymore. They feel useless when they have to depend on other people.
But receiving is part of life. It has nothing to do with worthiness.
You are a dependent when you are a kid and when you are old, you will return to the state of being a dependent again. Instead of resisting help from others, learn to surrender. Learn to accept help now.
Here’s a guide on how to accept help from others.
A Guide to Accepting Help From Others
1. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Accepting help requires you to be vulnerable and give up control. And some people don’t like that. They believe that accepting help puts them in an inferior position. They feel as though they lack something and require someone else to fulfill what they are lack of.
Being weak is strong and being strong is weak.
However, vulnerability isn’t something to be deemed as a weakness. Being vulnerable requires strength. It requires you to surrender to what is given. Sometimes, people put on a hard shell as a defensive mechanism thinking it will protect them from getting hurt. But the truth is their protective shells are blocking themselves from receiving love from others.
As a receiver, you have no control over what you receive. Good or bad. Something you want or something you do not want. You don’t get to determine what you get. And that makes most very uncomfortable.
But that’s where the true test of strength is. Everyone can do well when they have control over things. But in reality, we don’t have as much control over external events as we think we have. And there is where your true strength comes into play. Are you able to accept help from others, let go of your ego and be vulnerable for a moment?
2. Examine your beliefs on receiving.
When someone gives you love or kindness, accept their compliments, and help graciously. If you find yourself uncomfortable to receive their help, examine your beliefs on receiving:
- What’s stopping you from accepting help from others?
- Do you feel that you don’t deserve to receive their compliment or love? Why do you feel that way?
- What is your relationship with money? Do you have a tendency to spend all the money you have received?
Most of the time, there’s some inner work to be done on yourself. For example, recognizing your own self-worth and being conscious of how your past influences your beliefs on receiving:
- Perhaps your parents weren’t good receivers too.
- Perhaps you are told by your parents that it’s better to give than to receive.
- Perhaps someone accuses you of being greedy when you are young.
- Perhaps your parents are always suspicious or doubtful of people’s nice gestures.
- Or perhaps your parents never reward or praise you, so you believe you are not good enough to receive anything.
Whatever the case is, realize that when someone decides to give you something, it means in their mind, they have already decided that you deserve to be the receiver of the gift. So don’t question whether you deserve it or not.
3. Give others an opportunity to give.
Receiving is not only about you. It’s also about the giver. Imagine a well-intention, loving person giving you something and you reject their gifts. How would that make them feel? Unappreciated? Awkward? Embarrassed?
If you don’t receive well, you stop the flow of love.
When you receive, you give other people an opportunity to give. I have observed people who always fighting to be the ones to give. They want to be the one who pays for dinner. They want to be the one giving advice. But when it’s time for them to receive, they turned down other people’s acts of kindness.
We can’t always be the one giving. I know how good it feels to give and be the one that others depend on. But it takes two to give and receive. If you keep giving and not receiving, eventually people who couldn’t reach you would find others to give. You are not letting the energy flow through you. It’s like a dead-end. The flow of love stops when reaches you.
4. Pay it forward instead of returning it.
Sometimes when people aren’t comfortable with receiving, they would return the love, the compliment, or the gifts in another form immediately. For example, when someone gives them a gift, they feel obliged to find something to give back.
When it’s your time to receive, it’s important for you to embrace the moment. Don’t be in a hurry to give back to the other person. You are just deflecting their love back to them. It’s like: “I can’t receive your love. Here have it back.” Then what you give them, would not be authentic.
There’s no need to return the love.
It’s better to wait until the next time when it’s appropriate and give the person something they need. Then, it wouldn’t be like returning the favor or love. You would be like the origin of energy and love.
And when you find it uncomfortable to receive, instead of giving back, how about paying it forward? Pass the love energy to someone new. Keep the goodness flowing, instead of stopping the flow. Watch the video below:
5. Feel the love and be grateful.
Ever since I became a tutor, I become grateful whenever I receive money from others. I used to be a salaried employee and I could feel a great difference between the two.
As a salaried employee, you don’t think too much about being grateful for your salary. In fact, you expect your salary to be in your bank account on a specific day of every month. If you didn’t receive your salary on time, it’s like the end of the world. You blame, you get angry, you start to resent your employer. I have worked so hard. I deserved to get paid. I need the money. I have plans to do so and so.
To receive is such a beautiful experience.
When I first received my tuition fee from my student, it was such a beautiful, humbling experience. I had to stretch out both of my hands and receive the money. I felt a connection with the giver. And when I received the money, I naturally said: “thank you”. It was such a lovely moment.
Never once in my life had I thank my employer for paying me! I had been taking my employer for granted. My salary went straight into my bank account. I expected them to pay me the right amount at the right time.
From that day onwards, I have so much more appreciation and gratitude for the giver and the act of receiving.
6. Practice accepting help everywhere.
You don’t have to wait for someone to give you help to practice receiving. Whenever you need help, just ask for it. Don’t worry about being rejected. Give others an opportunity to help you. If they aren’t the one, move on to the next.
And you don’t need another person to practice receiving.
There are already a lot of gifts from the universe which you might be oblivious to. The sunlight that keeps you warm, the trees that keep you cool and give you shade, the roof over your head, the air that you breathe in, the electricity, and so on. Without any person giving you anything, you can still receive the beauty of the world by being aware of it.
It could also be your love for yourself or something you receive from paying. For example, you are grateful for the bus driver for helping you get to your destination, the hairdresser who cuts your hair, or when you give yourself a break when you are tired.
Start a gratitude journal and write down what you are grateful for. That would make you a better receiver.
Featured Photo Credit: 가을 마중 / Hanyeon Lee