Not a taker or a receiver

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Not a taker or a receiver

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” –  Barbara De Angelis

Do you ever have the feeling right after saying something out loud that hearing your own words all of a sudden makes you see something that is an answer you’ve been looking for?

Recently I was talking to a woman who is incredibly generous with her time and her efforts for her family, friends, employer and community. I know she is all these things and she feels shy when I bring her beautiful heart into conversation. Her response has always puzzled me and then bingo, she gave the answer that said so little and I responded with something completely off the cuff and yet it spoke so much. It caught her by complete surprise like she wanted to swallow her words and I did too.

Commending her generosity she replied with, “I’m not a taker.”

I then replied to her, “and not a receiver either.”

We both stopped and looked at each other and immediately said to each other, “Oh my goodness, that’s so true.”

How many women do we all know who give so much? Who would never take anything, even never take anything for granted? In this place, how many of these women are open to receive?  A compliment, the help of others, a gift, anything? I am finding more and more incredible women who have confused receiving with taking, and by wanting to avoid the taking part, they don’t receive either.

Receiving is so important for women. Being able to receive feedback in the workplace assists our pathway to promotion, enables us to feel valued and appreciated and assists us to make career decisions based on what we want and not just for people pleasing. In our relationships outside work it helps us to feel appreciated and energised by loved ones, teaches our children or young people around us that giving and receiving are both normal. Also being open to receiving helps us to put our health before the needs of others and I meet so many physically exhausted women every week who are so generous they put themselves last every minute of their day and night, 365 days a year.

A receiver is defined as, “a person who gets or accepts something that has been sent or given to them.” A taker is defined as, “someone who decides to possess something.” What’s interesting is that so many women I speak to seem to feel that taking means to possess something at the expense of someone else or to have something that means someone else will have to go without. These references then make taking feel very negative and then being unable to distinguish between that which comes with strings attached or expectations and that which is a gift in the true sense of being a gift becomes distorted. In the end taking and receiving look the same and a generous person who tirelessly gives, is no longer open to receive.

How is this resolved? I have some ideas including opening up to finding a new meaning for all receiving, just as a personal awareness to start with and seeing how it feels. To looking at our lives and giving ourselves the permission to make space for what we really want and permission to leave situations that are not supportive is also helpful. Sometimes easier said than done. If you are a giver just like my friend, I’m standing up for you today and telling you that you are amazing and wonderful to do what you do. Please receive my compliment!


Madelaine Cohen Author

Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning. Madelaine welcomes connection and networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.