Taking Can Be Giving
Start writing a post

Taking Can Be Giving

It's a nice thing to let people do nice things for you.

Taking Can Be Giving

Many years ago I tried to buy lunch for a friend, and she would not let me. It was no big deal but it was sort of a letdown on my part, and I remember feeling rather disappointed. I had been hyped up to treat her.

The next day I declined to let another friend buy my lunch, and the hangdog expression on her face had to be exactly how I had looked only the day before, when I had been refused. I felt terrible.

This is when I began to understand that taking, can often be giving.

I know that I am happy when I do something nice for a friend, yet here I was refusing people. I love paying for our ice cream or getting the movie tickets, yet I rarely let anyone do so for me. Why did I make it so hard for people to give me things?

The answer is because I had too much pride. Pride is a good thing in measured amounts, preferably tempered with a bit of humility. We should always be proud of the core things that makeup who we are. But pride can get out of hand sometimes, and I was hard to help out for a lot of years. I just would not take the offers, because I can do it myself.

Of course I can do it myself. But I had pushed the idea to the point that I had trouble accepting gifts or kindnesses, even though I often give them out. I had to learn how to knock down that particular wall and start making my friends and family happy - by letting them give me things. It seems like such an odd thing to say, to be honest. I am pretty sure that it works, however.

Let me highlight a couple of things. I am highly alert to weirdness and bribery attempts, and so the only people I accept gifts and favors from are pretty much the same people I would trust with my children and my secrets. I am not advocating trolling for free lunches. There are people in our lives who truly want to do something nice for us once in a while, and that is the circle that I'm talking about here.

It still feels awkward when people do nice things for me, so it goes best when I know them well. Surprises are the most awkward because I never expect anything from anyone, ever, so my response is usually slow and short. I am easy to surprise because I honestly never expect one coming. The best thing about learning to accept favors is learning that there is no keeping of score cards or notes with people that you truly care about; everybody takes care of everybody.

I will continue to make an effort to politely take care of my own expenses, because that is how I was raised and that is how I plan. But if someone is dead-set on doing something for me, I have learned to let them. People get a real bang out of doing nice stuff for their friends. We all know that, because we have all done it and gotten that same kick.

Some people might think it would be easy to get greedy this way. I suppose this could be true, but I do not think I'm much in danger. I think that is where my pride kicks back in and will not allow me to accept too much, even though the kindness is always appreciated. I make my own way.

Shortly after I realized that taking can be giving, I was invited to lunch again. This time when my friend offered to buy I made a counter-offer to take care of myself, and when my friend insisted on paying, I let her. She was tickled pink and I saw that by taking her kindness, I had given her happiness.

To my friends who pick up lunch, bring me secondhand clothes for my kids, help me out with childcare in the summer, send me funny cards inside care packages in the mail, or surprise me with fair tickets...thank you. If I'm ever weird about it I hope you can understand it is because I am weird and have funny issues with people going out of their way for me, but I do appreciate it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey


Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me


As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.


Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.


As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments