How much can you take?

Which thoughts came to your mind when you saw this title? Did you think about all the challenges that you have encountered until now? Did you think about your overfull closets? Money? Physical exercise? Sickness? If you know me well enough, you will know that I like to play with words. So yes, I am talking about something completely different.

This Christmas blog is about receiving. Just getting something. Without having to do anything for it. Just like that. Just because you are nice. Because you deserve it. Because the giver wanted to give you something. Just because.

We are so used to applying the ‘a favour for a favour’ rule that it becomes uncomfortable for us to happily receive something without having to do something in exchange. How tough is this for you? How many times do you say ‘thank you, but you did not have to do that’?

Of course this differs among people. Maybe you really enjoy receiving the one gift after the other without batting an eye. In that case, I sincerely congratulate you!

But how many people are not at ease when they are given a cup of coffee. And even some pastry to go with it. By an effort especially for you. A big bunch of flowers. Or does the feeling of discomfort start when you are treated on a dinner or a night at the movies. How much can you take?

I firmly admit that I sometimes struggle with these situations too. The act of giving seems to be so much more enjoyable than receiving. But why is that the case? Why is it so difficult to just openly appreciate a kind gesture or a pretty gift? And just to be happy with it? No, give! Giving is a lot more fun than receiving.

I would like to ask you whether that is really true. Or could it be that something else lies at the base of it? I think that for a large part it is easier. Because what makes receiving so difficult? Do you consider yourself to be worth being given something? Do you think that you are obliged to give something back if you receive? Do you feel the strong need to do something in exchange?

Systemically, there should always be a balance between giving and receiving. During my studies the following rule stood out to me: the giver has the right that, what he or she has given, will be accepted by the other. So.. if you do not receive, you subtract the opportunity for the other person to give you something.

In other words, you seem to give something back by just being happy about what you have been given. I consider that to be an eye-opener. What do you think?

Merry Christmas!


Karen van Hout

If you have any questions or would like to talk about this topic, please feel free to contact OFWOOD.