We’re raised with an understanding of the implicit value in helping other people. Preschool teachers repeat the phrase “sharing is caring” to children before they’re even totally potty trained. Kids are encouraged to get involved with clubs and extracurricular activities that have giving and service built into them. Many high schools even have a community service requirement for graduation! Even as adults, we’re reminded that “giving is better than receiving,” and thanks to the growth of social media and crowdfunding, we are constantly aware of the many ways in which we could be supporting other people.
We love all of this.
At bulldog, we dig finding ways to give back to our communities and to others. We look for opportunities to do this whenever we can — and we think it’s awesome when you do the same! — but we do have one small question.
When are we taught to accept support from other people?
Think about it: for every lesson you’ve been taught about how to give love and support, were you taught another one about how to accept and receive it? Did your preschool teacher explain the importance of picking up the phone and calling a friend when you’re feeling sad? Do you have any idea how to accept help — financial, emotional, or otherwise — without being totally awkward? Heck… did anyone ever even teach you how to graciously take a compliment without brushing it off or trying to turn it around on the other person?
We’re pretty sure that your answer to all of these questions is “no.” And we understand why. As much as we’re taught and encouraged to support other people, most of us have never really felt empowered to accept that support in return. It’s pretty weird when you think about it, right?
bulldoggers, we’re here to remind you that it’s totally cool to do more than just accept it. When the people around you offer you their support, you should welcome it! Better yet? We want you to savor it.
In a culture like ours that generally places such a high value on loving and doing for others, you actually stand to make the people who are trying to support you feel good by affirming their efforts to support you. More importantly, you’re allowing them to give you some extra strength that you may not have even realized you needed.
When your friend asks if she can treat you to dinner and be a listening ear because she knows you’ve been going through a hard time, resist the urge to say “No, thanks!” Savor the support.
When your co-worker offers to take some tasks off your to-do list because it’s clear the boss is leaning too hard on you, remember just how overwhelmed you are before you decline. Savor the support.
When a fellow bulldogger or yoga leader suggests a minor adjustment to your form on the mat, you should totally not feel embarrassed. Savor the support.
When someone tells you that they love your shirt or haircut, there’s no rule that says you have to flip it back on them. Really, there’s not. Savor the support.
We all have the responsibility to support and give to others, and we love living in a world where that kind of selflessness matters. Keep it going, people! But you can bask in the same support when it comes your way, too.
Do you struggle to accept support from others? Why? Tell us on Facebook + Twitter!
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Featured image: Helena Lopes/Unsplash