How to be a Graceful Gift Receiver
We LOVE giving gifts.
Let’s be honest, we all want to be Santa Clause, we love giving gifts that much. Making others happy through the gifts that we’ve carefully and thoughtfully curated means the world to us.
On a recent podcast, we heard the guest speaker explain how so many of us love to give gifts (we instantly, of course, thought WE DO!), but rarely do we ever allow others to experience that same love and joy in giving to us.
Woah…what does that mean?
They went on to explain further. “Think about how you feel when you give a gift, what emotions do you experience?”
Love, excitement, appreciation, joy, admiration, giddy, happy.
Don’t you think others feel the same way when they give a gift too?
How often do we gift-giving-lovers avoid receiving gifts or avoid emotions when we do open gifts due to our uneasiness and rob others of their chance at the same wonderful feelings we feel when giving?
This was a complete eye-opening moment for us.
We are definitely guilty of being so caught up with our own love of giving gifts to others that we forget that others feel the same way and more often than not we are not allowing others to feel joy in giving to us because we are too distracted with being the gift giver ourselves.
We definitely have failed to be there for others in those moments. Have you?
Our point, here, is this: We realized that this whole time we never thought about how others were feeling in those moments. All we could think about was how us, ourselves, and giving out gifts to others. We never realized that maybe in those moments they were feeling excited and joyful and not being able to recognize those emotions may have led us to fail at giving them the response they deserve therefore taking away the whole purpose behind gifting and not allowing them to feel the full experience.
A quote by Alexander McCall Smith described this eye-opening experience for us perfectly.
He said, “Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be harder than giving…accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.”
Being able to take the time to get out of your own head and place yourself in other people’s shoes to understand both sides can help you to see how you can truly be serving others when receiving their gifts.
We realized in those moments it wasn’t JUST about us and how we feel, it IS about THEM and allowing them to feel happy in the spirit of giving after all that is what the season of giving is all about.
This is how we learned what it means to be a graceful gift receiver.
& we have decided to write out a few simple ways to help you too.
Here are six steps to take to become a graceful gift receiver:
1. Awareness. We believe, first, understanding how and why it is important to learn how to be a graceful gift receiver is the best place to start. As we’ve shared above taking the time to put yourself in other people’s positions helps you to stop getting caught up in your own thoughts and in that moment realize the bigger picture. Understanding and realizing your role to make others happier makes it easier to take the spotlight off yourself and be strong for the others around you. Having the awareness to realize you are allowing others to feel the joy of giving is key and in the moment if you start to feel your nerves creep up just take a deep breath and remember why you are the receiver.
2. Be open. In order to receive you have to be open to receive. This might sound a bit crazy, but it’s TRUE. It is a lot like the saying you can’t help those who aren’t willing to be helped. You can’t receive unless you are willing to receive.
There is a quote from Brené Brown that I love for this. She says, “Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.”
In order for us to share the joy of giving, we have to be open to receiving their gifts, their love. If you are thinking… “of course, I’m open to receiving” or maybe you’re thinking how am I not open to receiving? Being open comes from inside. Opening your heart requires an internal shift, which comes from the conscious effort to do so. Once you make the effort and shift your heart from giving to receiving you will able to receive the love given to you. You can’t see the difference from the outside, but everyone will be able to feel it.
3. Thank you. We all undervalue the simple words, thank you. When we are the ones saying the words we often feel they aren’t enough, that the words don’t even begin to cover our appreciation so we forget to say them and sometimes we say them out of habit and not with the true feelings behind them. However, how often do we appreciate when others say them to us? Every time. We love hearing thank you because these words DO MATTER. Even if they are coming from you, they STILL MATTER. Simple they may be, but they are powerful and need to be heard. When you receive a gift, look them in the eye, and tell them “thank you.” It is the first best thing you can say when you are receiving a gift.
4. Gratitude. Thank you is one way of expressing gratitude, yes, but you can always make it special by adding your own personal touch by expressing gratitude and acknowledging their efforts. Simple statements such as: “this means so much to me,” “thank you for thinking of me,” “I appreciate this so much,” “I am so grateful for you,” “I love it, I am incredibly touched,” “this makes me so happy, thank you very much,” or “I feel so blessed” and “I’m so grateful for this/you.” Simple statements such as these help you to express your gratitude and show how you acknowledge their thoughts, love, and efforts they are expressing to you. They also help you avoid statements that we often say to avoid attention, but end up brushing others off like: “you shouldn’t have” or “this is too much” or even “you didn’t have to.”
5. Express Excitement. Still at a lost for words when receiving gifts and the nerves and attention are getting to you? Share your excitement of the gift received. You can do this by saying how you might plan to use the gift, where you will place the gift, or how long you’ve wanted the item. These will help let them know just how happy you are with receiving the gift and further encourage them to know how loved and appreciated you feel by their kindness.
6. Stay Graceful. Always remain kind and graceful. Return love when it has been given to you.
Finally, don’t forget sometimes it is not always about giving but allowing room for others to enjoy the wonders of giving by being their graceful receiver and opening the way for them to have the opportunity to share their love.
We will leave you with this quote:
“The greatest gift you can give is the gift of giving.”
I hope this post will share a new perspective as this message has done for us. To see now that others love to give too, and being a graceful gift receiver gives them the chance to share in the joys of giving. Be someone who creates opportunities for others to feel the magic of giving.
Be an Encourager. Always remain open. Radiate grace & express gratitude.