Some people feel that they’re being good friends, or good partners, when they give without ever asking for help. The ones who identify themselves as ‘selfless givers.’ But what they don’t realize is that they are actually limiting the depths of the connection by keeping it a one-way street. They are stealing opportunities to get closer, to deepen in intimacy. Because when we deny the other person the chance to help us, we never taste the vulnerability of receiving. And they are prevented from experiencing the delights of being there for someone they love. Giving and receiving tightens bonds.
There’s also something particularly satisfying in giving to those who love receiving. It’s so much fun giving a gift to someone who reacts gleefully. I enjoy cooking for my loved ones, but for my Dad in particular. He always cleans his plate, and expresses heartfelt appreciation for the meal.
And I love teaching fitness to those who are enthused and appreciative. This came to light most recently when I had the opportunity to teach private, or near-private yoga lessons.
That doesn’t mean I don’t still appreciate my subdued, reserved students, or cooking for pickier eaters who aren’t as likely to adore the meal. It simply means that giving to those who are particularly appreciative of receiving is an extra level of joy.