Giving or Receiving, Which Is Better?
The action of giving and receiving has a powerful impact on relationships, not
only with others but with yourself as well. Think about your past experiences with
giving and receiving. After some consideration, you may realize that you are
better at one than the other.
•Are you one of those people who is naturally a giver, a doer, or a caretaker?
•How do you react to receiving compliments? Is it with ease and gratitude, or do
you get the urge to deflect and minimize praise?
•What has been your history with receiving love? Does it come with struggle and
Ideally, the exchange of giving and receiving is effortless; when there is a
struggle, it is worth examining and figuring out why.
There is no doubt that giving is celebrated. You may have been taught the
importance of giving by your parents, friends, or extended community as you were
growing up. What probably was not modeled (or celebrated) as much is the
importance of being able to receive.
“Give the energy you wish to receive.” ~ Unknown
The Importance of Giving. The next time you give, ask yourself why you are doing
it and consider the true meaning behind it. Your desire to give may be the result of
various impulses and emotions, such as kindness or guilt. No need to judge —
just notice and see what comes up. A lot of your behavior may come from an
unconscious part of yourself, resulting in default responses. The more you can
become aware of your thoughts and behaviors, the more adept you become at
seeing and making changes that help you evolve for the better.
While you essentially know how to give, here are a couple of tenets of healthy
giving to keep in mind:
•Give from a place of love.
•Give without expecting anything in return.
When you give from this place within yourself, you never feel like your cup is
empty. It becomes a freeing and energizing experience and enables you to focus
on what you authentically have to offer others. It strengthens your relationships
and opens you up to wholesome new ones.
On the other hand, if giving depletes you, this is a sign of unhealthy giving. While
there could be many reasons for this, having expectations is a common one that
only leads to disappointment or resentment. Feelings of obligation and guilt are a
heavy burden, and yet it is wholly unnecessary. There is no benefit to this type of
The Importance of Receiving. Receiving is necessary and important. While giving
feels wonderful, it only works when there is a receiver. Allowing yourself to be a
gracious receiver is a humbling experience and is truly an act of love because it
offers a chance for others to give.
Receiving is not about expecting others to give to you because you are more
important or deserving. It is about receiving a gift without guilt or neediness, and
without feeling obliged to give back. Maybe you cannot receive gifts without
negative thoughts popping up, such as, “I don’t deserve this” or “Now I feel like I
owe her/him.” How you receive is just as important to the giver’s happiness as it
is to your own. To receive in a good way requires you to do away with the
negative thoughts and instead pause and reflect on the exchange and what it
means: friendship, support, love, etc. This fuels a great deal of happiness in both
the giver and receiver.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” –Maya
An Expanded View of Giving and Receiving. “The universe operates through
dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of
energy in the universe.” states Deepok Chopra.
This quote eloquently describes the flow of circulation upon which everything in
the universe depends, including yourself. If one aspect of this energy flow does
not function, the entire cycle ceases to function, and the circulation of energy
You have probably heard the familiar
adage, “It is better to give than to
receive.” It would be difficult to find
someone who would say otherwise. The
act of giving elicits positive feelings and
emotions for both the giver and the
receiver, making it one of the most
important exchanges you can have with
So yes, the easy answer to the question
posed in this article’s title would be that it
is better to give than to receive.
However, to better understand giving, you
must also understand the importance of
Nature provides perfect examples of this dynamic exchange of giving and receiving that is necessary for the flow of life. You receive the gift of oxygen from trees,
and you give them carbon dioxide. Insects receive nectar from flowers, and they give the gift of pollination. Symbiotic relationships are abundant in nature and are
needed for the ecosystem to continue to thrive. Since you are also part of nature, you too need to both give and receive to stay happy and healthy.
So Which One Is Better? Now let’s come back to the question of which one is better: giving or receiving? Before every exhale, you must inhale. Before every inhale
there is an exhale. When you give you receive. When you receive you give. In truth you cannot separate the two. When you give, you receive joy, satisfaction,
pleasure in seeing the receiver receive. When you receive, if done graciously, you gift the giver with your own joy and appreciation. The giving and receiving does
not have to be “even” in the material sense. It simply has to feel good in the energetic sense. As discussed, one cannot happen without the other. Giving and
receiving are both aspects of the same flow of energy in the universe. It is therefore important to be both a good giver and a good receiver.
“Give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” ~ Unknown
If you find yourself lucky to be on the receiving end of any of these gifts, be sure to take a moment to pause and truly accept it with a sense of gratitude, honor, and
appreciation. In this way, both you and the giver will reap the benefits and be truly blessed.