How many times have you heard, “It’s better to give than receive?” It’s so ingrained in our culture, we don’t even question it.
If you are in a leadership role, chances are you believe this wholeheartedly. Which means you also probably believe you should
always be competent,
never make mistakes,
and always be strong.
And likely you believe you should only receive when you have something to give in exchange.
One problem with this attitude is that when you are in a situation where you don’t have a choice and must receive, you are likely to feel
because it challenges your self-image.
It is easier to give than to receive, but not necessarily better. Allowing others to help you is a sign of strength, not weakness.
9 reasons it’s good to receive
- It reminds you that you’re not in charge.
- It keeps you humble.
- You allow others the opportunity to feel the pleasure of giving.
- You get to experience gratitude.
- You develop a realistic self-image.
- You create a space for others to shine.
- You begin to understand what strength really is.
- You become a more well-rounded person.
- Your relationships become richer.
It is also good to give, especially when you are not looking for something in exchange. That is the true spirit of generosity.
But helping others when they can help themselves is NOT an act of generosity. It takes away their power, opportunity for growth, and keeps them dependent.
What’s important is knowing when to give and when to receive.
There’s a time to give and a time to receive. When it’s your time to receive, just say, “Thank you.” And allow yourself to feel the precious gift of gratitude that naturally arises.
Note: A version of this post originally appeared at The Leadership Freak Blog December 2011.