• Alisa Avruch

What if it's not selfish, after all?

Receiving gets the bad rap.

Frequently associated with its distant cousin, 'Taking', it is mistakenly considered to be impolite (or downright bad midos) in some circles.

Many consider it a symptom of weakness, or an affront to the foundational Western commandment of "Thou shalt be independent (especially if you are a female)."

Some feel that it is a sign of ga'avah, or selfishness, or neediness.

And yet, this little-known quality is crucial to relationships - and especially powerful for women.

Wondering about your receiving abilities? How familiar are any of these scenarios to you?

  • Your friend compliments you on the fancy dessert you made for sheva brachos, and you say - "Oh, it didn't come out as good as it usually does, and anyway, everyone else put in a lot more work than me."

  • Your co-worker offers to take on part of the project you are submerged in, and you think - she might not do it as expertly as I can, I'll just do it myself

  • You arrive at your host's house hungry and tired, but when she asks if you would like something to eat, you say, "No, I'm fine."

Sound like anyone you know?

Wondering what could be wrong with that?

Hint: put yourself in the position of the giver in each of those situations. How do you feel? How would you feel if the other person received gracefully from you?

Here's some food for thought:

In truth, giving (and all relationships) requires TWO parties - a giver, and a receiver. The receiver actually gives something to the giver: the gift of feeling successful, of being wanted, of having something of value to give.

For a wife, this quality takes on epic proportions. Because (wait for it...)

Receptivity is the essence of femininity.

When a woman learns to gracefully receive compliments, gifts and offers of help, she is exercising her "receiving muscles".

When she is open to receiving what her husband has to give, she awakens in him the natural desire to provide for his wife.

Wondering how you can tap into THAT superpower? Stay tuned to this space!

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