Blog Accepting Thanks

Accepting Thanks

One characteristic that’s so often admired in society is humility – deflecting attention from ourselves and dispersing it to others. But what if, in that same act of humility, we’re also denying someone the opportunity to do something kind for us?

Deflecting Everything
Think about it; giving unexpected gifts or praise to someone isn’t a requirement in society (in fact, it can seem quite rare these days). So when someone approaches me and says “great job” or “thank you so much for your help” or they pick up my tab before I can pay, they’ve gone out of their way to lift me up.

If I respond to that person with “Oh, I thought I did terrible” or “No, don’t mention it” or refuse to let them pay, I’m in essence blowing off their compliment or gift and denying them the opportunity to do something kind for me.

It’s A Basic Need
One of Maslow’s five basic needs* is esteem. As humans, one way to increase self-esteem is to give and build others up. It feels good to do good for others. So when I deny someone the chance to share a gift or compliment with me, I’m basically denying them the chance to build their own esteem.

Instead, I have to work on a very simple response: looking them in the eye and saying, “Thank you, I really appreciate that.” Nothing more; nothing less. In this way, I’m fully accepting their compliment or gift and acknowledging the fact that they’ve done something nice for me. We both ultimately take something positive away from the experience.

(It’s also important to note that this doesn’t displace our ability to stay humble. Thanking someone and being appreciative doesn’t come across as showy or self-serving — you’re simply grateful.)

What do you think? Do you struggle with accepting gifts? When was a time you were able to give a gift and it made you feel awesome?

*I still contend he missed the one specifically about bacon, but will settle that at a later time.

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