Do you know what 5 things you should be able to do to ensure your freedom and build stong relations ?
Those 5 key attitudes to be free and honest are the capacity to receive, give, ask, accept and refuse.
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Why are these 5 skills so critical to build your freedom, autonomy and trust ? Well, for example, being able to ask what you need means that:
- you know what you need
- you are in the driving seat of your life, as you take the initiative to try to get what you need
- you are self-confident enough to accept a refusal from the person you are asking.
Not asking means depending on the willingness of the others to fulfil your needs. While this is absolutely normal in certain circumstances (for a baby for example), it is not the case when you are / should be an autonomous adult.
That’s why I consider the capacity to ask as one of the keys to build your freedom and autonomy, to respect yourself and make yourself respected, and to build strong and positive relationships.
As this is a very long subject, I’ll be tackling it over a few posts. This week, I will have about receive. As an introduction, a personal story.
I have a wonderful husband. He is a real gentleman, very romantic. The kind of man who remembers what you said you’d like for your birthday, who knows the name of the perfume you wear, who supports you in any situation, and, believe me or not, who will always open the door of the car for me. Yes Ladies, this kind of man still exist, I found one !
A few years ago, when we moved to live together, the first week-end, he offered me a bunch of fresh flowers. Of course, I thanked him, and found this very romantic. In myself, I was really happy, but dit not show much. And every single Saturday since then, I receive fresh flowers.
Personally, I have always found it very difficult to receive presents. Normally, I’m quite a spontaneous person, but when it’s about receiving a present, I feel uncomfortable (probably something from when I was a kid). I’m always afraid to do too much, so most of the time, I control myself and do not show a lot of emotions.
In this case, it was really not enough I assume, as my husband told me a few weeks later that he was very disappointed, as he still didn’t know whether I was pleased or not with the flowers. Not willing to show too much, I had hurt him by showing too little…
Let’s think about it for a second. What does it mean to receive a present? What is the message behind ? What does it represent ?
From the giver point of view, a present is something you offer to show you like/love the person, you want to please her/him, and you know her/him enough to find out something that she/he will appreciate.
From the receiver point of view, the way you will react has very much to do with the value you give to yourself. If you consider yourself as a valuable person, you’ll be at ease with the present, just for what it is : a symbol of the relationship, and / or just something to please you, to show you how important you are for the person. You will not judge the value of the present as ‘too much for me’ … (or ‘too little’ in some cases that I won’t discuss here).
Let’s also consider the giver’s position. By rejecting a gift, not only you reject your own vision of yourself as a valuable person, but also the pleasure the other has in making you this gift. To some extent, you refuse the relationship.
Consequence ? Both feel unhappy, and you damage the relation.
My tip for you?
If you feel uncomfortable with receiving a gift, ask yourself what happens in your mind when you receive one. Most of the time, it will be something like « What does he really want from me? » or » What have I done to deserve it? »
If this is the case, I suggest that you ask yourself what message it brings about your relation with yourself or with the other person. And I wouldn’t be surprised that the answer would be about trust …
Enjoy, and to be continued …
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