A lot of times bloggers focus on how to help other people. We offer advice, admonitions, paths and channels and organizations and all sorts of other helpful information. But there is something that I don’t see a lot of information about, and that is how to accept kindness or help. You wouldn’t think this is something that people would need help with, but my experience, both in my own life and in watching others, has demonstrated that there are a few ways people can react upon receiving a kindness that can actually leave a bad taste in the giver’s mouth. These include:
• Not being appreciative because you were hoping that the help or kind word would come from someone else
• Not being able to acknowledge the kindness because your outlook on life is too dark
• Lamenting a lack of help or kindness even after receiving same (this can relate to the above, too)
• Getting angry when someone offers help (this can be a pride thing or perhaps a feeling that your privacy was intruded upon)
There are two reasons why learning to accept help or kindness with grace is extremely important. One reason has to do with others and one reason has to do with your own self.
Have you ever reached out to help someone going through a hard time only to see them lament that “no one cares” or “no one has reached out to help me in my time of need”? It kind of bums you out, right? You took time out of your day/week/month, you told the person or showed the person you cared, but clearly your actions or words did not leave a big enough impression. Now, that’s not a great feeling to have, and even more to the point, you might not feel like helping that person the next time around. “They’re intent on being miserable,” you might think to yourself.
This is how people can feel about YOU if you do not accept kindness with grace. They can feel like being nice to you is a waste of time because you do not appreciate it. Now, this does not mean that you have to fall on your knees and kiss the ground a kind person walks on. However, showing gratitude, even more than expressing gratitude, is important for those who reach out to you. It makes them feel like you see that there are people pulling for you. It makes them want to do more, in fact, because people who care about you want to see you happy.
Even more important than that, however, is that accepting kindness with grace forces you to allow beauty and goodness into your heart, especially during a time that may be hard for you. Acknowledging a kindness increases the chances that you will really understand what it is you have received. Understanding that can help you grasp how much people care about you. And understanding that – well, it can make a big difference for you. If people you care about are pulling for you, you must have some good traits. You must have made a good impression on those folks. You must be valued and valuable. At no other time is it more important to embrace these truths than when they seem hardest for you to believe.
Allow people to be good to you. Allow people to help you. They are not doing it because they think you “need” it or because they think you’re a loser. They’re doing it because they care.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/1421810679/ via Creative Commons