April 24, 2018

9+ Relationship Experts Share Steal-Worthy Insights on How To Open Yourself To Love

How To Open Yourself To Love

In this column, the top love coaches and relationship experts share powerful insights and proven tips on how to open yourself to love.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

# Follow the below 8 tips
Kavita A. Hatten

Love has been described in many ways - an emotion, a "state of being," a choice and a drive.

Love can bring us high to a state of euphoria and low to the depths of sadness and despair. Love can test our willingness to open our hearts and test our limits to remain ourselves. Love can teach us tolerance and patience, and guide us to understand ourselves and others.

But when we can't predict what love will bring - heartache or bliss, it's natural to close ourselves off to loves' possibilities. However, when we allow love to be the teacher and we the student, an amazing journey can begin to unfold.

"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

After having "loved and lost" myself and helped countless women with their relationship struggles, losses, doubts and insecurities, here are a few insights to help you in your "journey of love."

1. Recognize that fear is limiting you.

Be aware that fear is based on past experiences that keep you feeling, thinking and behaving in a way that is no longer working. Realize that fears in a relationship stem from what you "think" might happen, not necessarily what will happen.

2. Eliminate the "what if's" that clog your mind.

-"What if the relationship doesn't work out." -"What if I can't be myself."
-"What if he leaves me."

The "what if" cycle will keep you stuck in a circular pattern that reinforces your worry and fear. Write down all the "what if's" and complete them. Recognize that they are irrational. For example: "What if he leaves me, then I'll be alone forever."

3. Acknowledge how you feel at any moment.

Acknowledge your feelings and needs to your partner. Allow your partner to do the same. Relationships are fluid, just like the universe. You can speak "your truth" at anytime. Don't take anything that is said as a reflection of you. As Don Miguel Ruiz states in The Four Agreements, "Don't take anything personally."

4. Trust your intuition.

Trust what your "gut" is saying about your needs, your boundaries and your relationship. Attend to what feels right.

5. Practice self-love.

In order to embrace a relationship, you need to embrace yourself. Invest in yourself every single day. Never forget that you are worth it.

6. Be authentic.

Be yourself. Accept yourself, your imperfections and give yourself permission to be transparent. Realize that love is imperfect and that healthy love comes from accepting each other just the way we are.

7. Take things at face value.

Accept compliments that are given to you. Embrace them. Have gratitude for what is being presented to you. If you have questions, ask for clarification. Don't "stay in the dark" and make up a story about what's happening. As Don Miguel Ruiz states, "Don't make assumptions."

8. Notice that love is everywhere.

Embrace all the ways love shows itself - in animals, in the environment, in encounters with strangers, in our loved ones and especially, yourself. Love is dynamic and ever-changing. Keep an open heart and notice everything that love brings.

Kavita A. Hatten, MS, LPC, NCC- www.phoenixcounseling.net

# Follow the below to-do
Linda Griffith

Walking from my car to the mall the other day, I was pondering our problem, as women, with comfortably accepting compliments and receiving gifts.  

I got to the heavy glass door of the department store and wouldn't you know,  I pushed instead of pulled.  Thank you, universe, this is exactly the problem that women have with receiving love: the door doesn’t open in both directions.

Or, if it does open two ways, the “stuff” we allow to be pushed onto us is more apt to be perfume samples, shopping bags full of shoes on sale, every cooking gadget known to science and delectable sweet treats erroneously expected to produce contentment, but love? No. We give love, acting out a generous bestowal of nurturance and enrichment upon others, the very thing we so deeply long to have someone give to us.

Door hinges are installed in early childhood, by an insecure, alcoholic or emotionally pained parent who needs a LOT of love, and thus, knowing no better, we learn very quickly that our role in life is to give.  

Certainly, victims of childhood sexual abuse are even further challenged in receiving love because of the enormity of confusion surrounding intimacy, pain and the equation of “love” with being used to satisfy ungrateful others. Culturally, girls still face a myriad of expectations associated with traditional female roles:  we must become supportive wives and giving mothers. In my practice, I would guess that roughly 98% of the women I see have one-way hinges installed on their doors. The problem is often identified as a boundary issue.

Grieving the absence of fulfilling love in childhood and learning to love oneself as an adult are both necessary steps in  moving beyond that impasse.

While we would never expect someone we invited over for dinner to bring a tool box and change the hinges on our front door so it can be opened for the guest,  that’s pretty much what we do in relationships.

We hope and wait for our partners to fix us by guessing what it is we need and by giving away to our partners the adoration we’ve never received and long to have for ourselves.

We expect our partners to treat us as we treat them but, alas, the plan is flawed because of the proclivity for choosing partners who resemble our parents with whom we first experienced bonding. 

Because we then know love as being “that” bonding, however inadequate and unloving “that” might have been, it's what we try to recreate over and over in our adult lives.  So begins the painfully doomed process of then trying to change our partners in an attempt to get from them what we believe we're owed.

Just imagine how wonderful it feels to be that person for whom you do all those special, considerate loving things you do! Imagine how loved you might feel if someone went to such out-of-the-way lengths to celebrate you in the same way!

Well, that’s what’s gotta happen if love is going to come in: the hinges need to be changed and we need to do the work ourselves.

Here's the how-to:

Have a love affair with yourself, obsessing, doting, tending, fantasizing-- the whole thing. Start wanting to spend time alone with you and beautiful and inspiring places.

Tomorrow morning, smile at that face in the mirror with the pillow wrinkle marks on her cheeks, look her in the eyes and really see into her soul.

Have sweet-nothing thoughts about how kind, how intelligent, how funny, how accomplished you are at the things that matter most to you.

Buy yourself flowers, take yourself on a special trip, hand-craft a gift for yourself and imbue it with genuine love for you.

Leave work early for you.  Not to pick up the kids, not to get to an appointment or do a chore for your partner, but take that little “playing hookie” gift of time for you!

Make a special candlelit dinner for you: champagne, a rose, the good china, music and seductive inner conversation with you. Then go to bed and make love with you.

Think of all the things you do for your beloved and begin to do them for you.

With practice, the door will start to open both ways, and you’ll have a standard for knowing what feels good and right when the admiration is offered by an admirer on the front step, ringing the bell. You'll be able to allow love in and should it take an uncomfortable turn, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself from the excessive neediness of others. When you love you, showing a bad actor the way out the door is much easier since spending time alone with you is not something you need to avoid anymore.

Once you are able to truly love you, the way for you is wide open and free.

No longer must you fear that a relationship is not working out. While you might choose to depend on another, you are not doomed to do so. You love you and that's the one with whom you will always, sweetly and appreciatively go home.

Try it! The next time a compliment or gift comes your way, you’ll be well-practiced at receiving because you’ll have acknowledged and owned your worth.

In relationships, then, you’ll not only have two-way hinges, but with true equality and mutual respect with your partner, you’ll be free to reach for the stars: the coveted revolving door through which giving and receiving happen simultaneously in a dance of mutual celebration, experienced within coupledom as deeply gratifying, circularly flowing love.

Linda Griffith, LCSW, DCSW - www.counselingtucson.com

# To open yourself to love, be loveable
Amy-Sherman

The power to love is within us all

We choose to love one another because we know that it makes us whole and adds to our interconnectedness.  We all want to understand the experience of love.  We all want to share what we know.

Your relationships serve as a mirror for how you see yourself

If you see love and contentment, that is what you believe.  If you see misery and heartache that, too, mirrors your state of affairs.

It is immensely empowering to know that you are in control of your capacity to love and that you can enhance your personal evolution. 

To open yourself to love, you have to be lovable

If you want more love from your partner, give it to yourself first.  You cannot direct another to be loving without experiencing it yourself.

So, take care of yourself, lovingly.  It is impossible to feel good around others when you can't feel good around yourself.   As an act of self-love, be kind to your physical body.  Eat well, exercise, take breaks, have fun.  When you nurture and pamper yourself, you become more open to being loved.  Plus, you will find that goodwill and love will transcend over to others.

Be mindful of any areas that need changing and do what needs to be done.  

It's easy to discover that the better you feel, the more love you have to give.  It's a win-win situation all around.

Hopefully, along the way, you maintain a strong social network of people who support, trust and empower you. This will increase your self-worth, self-confidence and overall well-being, factors that enhance your potential to give and receive the love you deserve.

Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com

# Pause + Reflect + Accept your imperfections
Diane Forster

When a woman doesn’t allow herself to receive love from a romantic partner…be it a compliment, a gesture, a gift, adoration…she is blocking off the universal flow of energy

This seems a bit dramatic, but since everything is energy, so is give and take.  

Most women are good at giving but not receiving.  When she doesn’t accept the love, she stunts the energy and she denies the “giver of love” their life’s purpose and work.  If more women were aware of how important it is to be a “receiver” as well as a “giver” she might be more accepting of the love and gifts coming her way. 

Just like it feels good for her to give, it feels good for the “giver” to give, too

So, please don’t make light of that important spiritual mission from the “giver of love.”

One thing she can do today to be a better “receiver of love” is to pause

When you receive a gift, in any form, pause for a moment, take a breath so you can “take in” the energy of the gift, then simply say “Thank You.”  

Nothing more, just “Thank You.”  

Don’t say things like, “you shouldn’t have” or “this is too much.”  If it’s a compliment about the way you look or some other physical feature, please don’t down-play the compliment.  If someone says to you “you have beautiful hair” try not to focus on what’s wrong and say something like, “oh no, I need to get it cut and colored!”  Simply say, “Thank you.”  

Here’s what I know about men…they only see your beauty; they don’t notice any of your “flaws.”

So, don’t point them out to them!  If he’s complimenting your body, don’t say things like, “oh don’t look at my fat thighs” or “I wish I didn’t have cellulite.”  Trust me, ladies, he’s not looking at that! 

Let him LOVE ON YOU!  Let him admire you!  Let him adore you!  The only one sabotaging the moment is YOU!  He’s being vulnerable in the moment by offering you his praise and compliments.  When you shut him down, he begins to shut down.  Then, he no longer feels comfortable offering these gifts to you because they are not well received.

Understand that we are all “Perfectly Imperfect” and that is perfectly okay!

If you want divine love in your life, which we all want, you must be able to let it in.  Accept the gifts you receive, in all formats, with grace and gratitude.  

Remember, pause and say “Thank You.”  

That’s your only job.  When you begin that habit, love can’t help but flood into your life.  The energy will be moving as it should be, you’ll be honoring the “giver” and you’ll experience a much greater level of love, joy, fulfillment and happiness in your life. 

Accept the love and enjoy your gifts!

Affirmation Statements:

Love It!:  I LOVE AND ACCEPT ALL THE LOVE AND GIFTS I RECEIVE IN MY LIFE!

Thank It!: I AM SO GRATEFUL AND GRACIOUS FOR THE GIFTS AND ABUNDANCE I RECEIVE!

Bring It!: I AM A POWERFUL GIVER AND RECEIVER OF LOVE IN ALL FORMS!

Diane Forster, Intentional Living Expert and Author – www.dianeforster.com

# Begin by examining your boundaries
Aimee-Aron-Reno

Wanting love in our lives is innate; feeling loved helps us to feel safe and secure.

Yet many of us question what to do with that love once we get it, or we fit the bill of “looking for love in all the wrong places”. We are a culture that values volunteerism, philanthropy and giving of ourselves which are beautiful and generous ideals; and we also need to learn how to receive love into our lives and be our own ambassador of good will.

One way to begin this work is by examining your boundaries.

Because many of us are taught how to give love purely by taking care of people, we assume that everyone learns the same way, and will return the favor. Not true! We need to learn to ask for what we need, and sometimes that may involve asking for help, or saying “no” when you know the other party will be disappointed.

Learning about your boundaries and what you need asks you to invite vulnerability into your life.

This may seem like the dreaded “V” word to those of us who have difficulty with communication or boundaries, but I invite you to reconsider that mindset. Opening up to another person about fears you have of being in a relationship with them, or losing them, or disappointing them – whatever it may be, can be liberating as well as open up the discussion and potentially allow the other party to do the same. Openness in communication takes away the space where assumptions and anxiety can live.

Consider the family, friend, and intimate relationships in your life and explore your attachment style. Read about or find a therapist who can talk with you about John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory and how it relates to you. This theory suggests our early childhood experiences influence how we engage with others as adults. Are you stubbornly self-reliant or find it hard to trust people? Are you too busy for or inattentive to others and their needs? Do you break up with people before they can break up with you? These behaviors could indicate some attachment wounds, and those CAN be healed.

Accepting love is at least a two-person interaction.

You are the receiver, and someone has to offer you their love. So stop and think about how you may be pushing love away the next time you refuse an offer for help, or tell yourself it’s inconvenient to have a relationship right now. After all, the seesaw is no fun with just one!

Aimee Aron-Reno, MA, NCC, LPC – www.aimeearon.com

# Follow the 4 tips below
Jessica-Hopkins

Receiving love may be harder for some people than others.

We may bring old wounds into our current situations, making it difficult to give or receive love. I want to encourage you to be open, be uncomfortable and embrace the vulnerability of giving and receiving love. A powerful gift.

1. Love Yourself FIRST!

a. Before you can truly start to receive love, you must first give yourself the love you truly need. Work on creating an intimate, trusting, lasting and loving relationship with yourself, and before you know it, the relationships around you will start to manifest in a similar fashion, and if they don’t, then you know they weren’t right to begin with.

2. Be Open, and Give Love.

a. Share with those who you appreciate and care for, that you care and appreciate them! Why not?

3. Push Yourself.

a. Vulnerability is rough stuff, but truly transformative. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and work on whatever it is about vulnerability that makes you uncomfortable. For some, it may be genuinely receiving compliments and praise, for others it may be allowing yourself to get close to someone in fear of getting hurt. Push yourself!

4. Notice and Redirect Bad Habits

a. Majority of us go around with a negative tap on repeat in our heads. Let’s stop the tape, and recreate one with positive loving messages, encouraging us to love others, and ourselves. When we truly believe we are worthy, then, and only then we will receive the love we believe we are worthy of.

Jessica Hopkins, MA, NCC – www.thriveccofco.com

# Learn to love yourself first
Amy-Wood

People have difficulty receiving love – in myriad forms ranging from compliments to sex – because they don’t love themselves.

Woody Allen’s classic quote,

“I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would want me as a member” is the spirit of the issue here.

When you don’t love yourself, it’s impossible to understand why anyone would treat you in a loving way.

And so the solution is to dismiss or demean those who, in your mind, demonstrate obvious desperation, stupidity or both by directing love to you.

When you feel so unworthy that you push away those who reach out to you, what you are essentially doing is rejecting the very nourishment that could help you to start loving yourself. And you are also insulting the givers of loving gestures, which is never a nice thing to do.

To learn how to love yourself is a life-long process, and it begins with entertaining the idea that maybe those people who see value in you aren’t so crazy. As an old boyfriend said to me, “Life got a lot easier when I stopped arguing with everyone who told me I was good-looking.”

So here’s a suggestion for you: imagine that loving comments or gestures are beautifully wrapped gifts extended to you.

Accept each gift graciously and say thank you in return, even if it’s not something you want or feel comfortable with, just as you would do with an actual birthday or holiday present. You will soon see that when you embrace rather than fight love, you become more loving with yourself and everyone else.

Just one final word here, and that is this: pushing yourself to accept compliments and casual loving gestures is one thing, but it’s quite another to force yourself into sexual contact. If you’re finding it challenging to enjoy intimate gestures, your best course of action is to address your hesitancy with an experienced therapist.

Dr. Amy Wood – www.amywoodpsyd.com

# Follow the 4 tips below
Margaret-Bell

It always feels easier to love someone else than to love yourself. Are you finding that you are harder on yourself than anyone else? Do withhold love from yourself? Believe it or not, you deserve love!

Follow the tips below to help you open up to the beauty of receiving love!

1. Stop asking for reasons.

Do you ask people why they love you? Do they really need a reason? Do you ask people why they love chocolate, or trashy romance novels? Maybe they just do and that’s wonderful. You are amazing and they see it. Let them give you the gift of unconditional love. That is love without boundaries or conditions. Remind yourself, that you are worthy and you deserve to feel unconditional love because you are awesome!

2. Love others.

Fill your heart with compassion towards others and the world. Give a smile. A helping hand. When you love, you will find it easier to receive love. Find a charity and donate time or money. You will feel your heart expanding. As your heart expands it’s easier for you to give and receive love.

3. Find the beauty, each and every day.

Find it. Relish in it. Sit with it. Marvel at it. Breathe it in. Sunsets, flowers, animals playing, art. True beauty reminds you of how precious and wonderful life is. It also brings peace to your soul. All of this helps you open your heart more and more to receiving love.

4. Surrender.

Easier said than done but so rewarding if you can stop your ego from convincing you why you don’t deserve love. Allow yourself to receive love. Give yourself permission.

Bonus activities: write yourself a permission slip to receive love. Create a collage of all the things that make your heart melt and bring a smile to your face. Find a poem or quotes that you love, that remind you about how awesome love is and place them where you can see them daily. , do something that makes you feel good about yourself, whatever that may be; walking in nature, watching your favorite show.

Do something nice for yourself every day. Give a smile. Give a compliment. Do something nice for someone else, just because. Lastly, donate time or money to a favorite charity.

Margaret Bell, MA, NCC – www.forwardkindheart.com

# Follow the 4 steps below
Judy-Hansen

Those who say they give a lot of love but have trouble receiving it, have successfully built a wall around themselves to keep pain away—or at least they think they have.

As someone who identifies as a Third Culture Kid or TCK, I understand how hard it is to receive love. TCK’s move frequently between cultures, and over time it can become increasingly difficult to receive love. It is a self-protective way to numb the pain of the numerous losses of friendships. At some point a decision is usually made: “I won’t receive love because it is easier to leave when the time comes.”

In order to overcome this, there are a few simple steps:

1. Begin by taking small risks in relationships. Reach out in some manner: send a thank you card, a note of appreciation or an email expressing gratitude.

2. When someone gives a compliment, take a few seconds to take it in, smile and say “thank you”.

3. Begin to value yourself. Give yourself some care, love, and respect. Also value your self-expression through creativity.

4. Establish good boundaries.

Those who are always saying “yes” and are continuously giving believe they will eventually get the love they crave. Not only is this an exhausting way to live, it does not really have the desired result. Saying “no” to others’ unhealthy demands will have two results: losing friends who do not respect a “no” and gaining valuable friends who do—and can teach good ways to receive love.

Receiving love is risky for those who have experienced pain and loss in relationships. However, there is a greater risk to overall health and happiness by remaining self-protective. It is worth the risk.

Judy Hansen, MA, LPCC – www.powerforlivingtherapy.com

# Learn to be loved and give love in an unconditional way with no expectation of anything in return
Connie-Clancy-Fisher

There is a beautiful saying that giving and receiving are the same.

Most of us have so much love inside that we want to give to others, yet we seem to have more difficulty receiving.

If we stop and think about it, love is all around and comes to us in many ways. It may be through spreading and receiving daily acts of kindness, such as giving someone directions, bringing others flowers, taking someone you care about to a show or concert, donating to those in need, rescuing an animal, or being a listening ear.

Thirteenth Century poet Rumi writes:

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

Once we can learn to receive all forms of love that come to us from all walks of life in small ways, there lies an incredible awakening. It is not just about looking for a romantic kind of love, although that can be an expansion in one’s life, it’s also about the ability to give and receive love on all levels and truly mean it from the depths of your soul.

In our culture, we get so caught up in rejection that we forget to see that beautiful love that surrounds us if we just open our eyes.

If rejection occurs, send that person love and an act of love and kindness will come to you and you can feel worthy of receiving. Remember that if someone is rejecting you, they are rejecting a part of themselves and they are needing love.

If we can learn to be loved and give love in an unconditional way with no expectation of anything in return, then we are letting go of all the conditions on how we receive love and can learn to accept love into our lives, there is a natural order and love and life happens in our highest good for all.

Connie Clancy Fisher, ED.D. – www.drconstance.com

# Follow the 7 tips below
Jeannie-Herman

Learning how to receive love with grace is more challenging that it may seem.

Neuroscience has shown that there is often a biological component to being unable to feel the love that another offers. Children who grow up in neglectful or abusive environments often have less active receptors for the neurotransmitters that communicate love.

Expecting someone without love receptors to feel loved can be like telling someone to taste chocolate without being able to use their taste buds; they may be able to smell the chocolate and get some sense of how delightful it is but they would not really be able to taste the chocolate. Fortunately, new receptors can grow! With vigilance and patience an individual who lacks the receptors to feel loved can gain the capability that they were deprived of in childhood.

On another level, neglectful and abusive childhoods can cause us to believe that we are unlovable.

Being unable to obtain love from our caregivers and in previous romantic relationships may make us terrified to believe that anyone could love us and therefore we shut down the ability to accept love from others.

Here are some strategies for increasing your ability to accept love:

1. Therapy- Finding a good therapist is essential in working through the self-defeating beliefs you may have. Also, the unconditional positive regard that a client-centered therapist will give you will help you to gain practice in accepting love.

2. Affirmations- Find a safe and quite space where you can get in tune with yourself. Repeat out loud “I am worth loving, I am lovable exactly as I am, I receive love with gratitude”; Repeat this at least ten times a day.

3. Audio or video guided meditations- You can find a variety of guided mediations on self-love and self-esteem online that will increase your ability to accept love from others.

4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- CBT is a technique that a trained therapist can help you use to change your self-defeating thought patterns into self-affirming thoughts.

5. Emotional Freedom Technique- EFT is a tool that a therapist can help you use to further enhance affirmations and also to decrease anxiety and fear around love.

6. Reiki- Reiki is a hands on, gentle touch, healing technique that can open you up to enormous feelings of love.

7. Love Yourself!- Show yourself how much you love yourself! Give yourself flowers, get a massage, do something you love… learning to receive love from yourself (and give love to yourself) will increase your ability to receive love from others.

Jeannie Herman, MS, NCC – www.holisticsolution.org

# Follow the 6 tips below
Becky-Bringewatt

In order to receive love, we must make ourselves vulnerable to another person.

We must be able to accept the love they give us, which is not always the love we want. We make a connection and allow another person to touch our hearts, and we can never predict what they will do with that trust we have given them. Sometimes it feels easier to close others off because we’ve been hurt too many times and simply can’t take being hurt again. 

In other situations, we have been taught that we aren’t deserving of love, so we don’t trust that anyone could possibly love us if they didn’t have ulterior motives. Or we become fearful that if we start to feel love it will go away, and we will be worse off than we were to begin with. And all of that is possible, but it is also easy to forget how good it is to be loved and to truly feel that from another.

Some ideas:

1. Practice opening your heart to others in small ways.

Allow yourself to really feel a genuine smile or greeting from another, and respond in kind. Sit with that feeling for a little while. Do this again and again until it starts to feel comfortable. (If you’ve been out of practice, it might take a while.)

2. Choose to accept love from people whom you trust.

If you know someone has hurt you, you might have a hard time trusting them again, so start with easier targets.

3. Take time to reflect on how you learned to stop accepting love from others.

You may have had very good reasons to do what you are doing, and they may not be necessary anymore. A counselor or coach can help you with this.

4. Examine the relationships in your life so you can decide where to cultivate love you want to receive.

If your relationships aren’t where you want them to be or aren’t with supportive and loving people, it may be time to have some conversations about how you are relating – or to find some new friends.

5. Keep a gratitude journal of all the ways people show love to you each day.

Over time you will begin to notice it more frequently and really begin to take it in.

6. Learn to receive love from yourself.

I think this is one of the hardest things for many of us to do, but it’s so worth it. There are difficult but powerful practices in Buddhism called Metta and Maitri that teach us to feel loving-kindness towards others and, in the process, to love ourselves.

Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC – www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.org

# Stop, breathe, reflect and ask questions
Karen-Thacker

You find yourself easily giving others your time, your love and your best but when the table is turned you find it very difficult to accept the same from others.

You may think this is very noble of you but in fact it’s a sign of a destructive crack. To only give and not receive creates an imbalance in the relational system. We were designed to be on both sides of the equation and reality dictates that at times we will have needs. If you are not receiving, then you are perilously imbalanced. Your relationships are perilously imbalanced. You are likely not being honest with yourself and others.

What do you do if you are a non-receiver?

Start by noticing it. Be aware of compliments you receive and your reaction to them. Notice when people try to offer help to you or show their love in a tangible way. What do you feel physically and emotionally?

Next notice your thoughts connected to your emotions. Why do you respond the way you do? Did you grow up believing it was selfish to need or arrogant to receive a compliment? A lot of us did so you are not alone. There is likely an undercurrent of an inaccurate belief feeding this unhealthy behavior so do a little digging and find out what it is.

Next, challenge this inaccurate belief.

Can you really give, give and give but never receive? No! At some point in your life your needs will come rearing their held-down heads and they just might be voracious. Better to deal with them early before they try to tank your life! Remind yourself that it is not selfish to receive from others. In fact, you are giving them an opportunity to do something for you, which is a gift in itself.

We like to show our love and gratitude, if the receiver won’t receive, then the giver doesn’t get to share in the lovely exchange of giving and receiving. By not receiving you are robbing others of the joy of giving. That is where the selfishness lies. You are being selfish by not receiving from others and you are showing arrogance by communicating you are too good to need.

When someone gives you a compliment, practice saying “Thank you”.

That’s it. No follow up with, “It was nothing” or “I don’t really deserve that”. Just a simple “Thank you” will do. When someone wants to show their love, let them by challenging the inaccurate belief with truth. Neither the “Thank you” nor the acceptance of being given to will be easy for you. That’s ok. Anything worth changing involves work and some discomfort. Work through it by reminding yourself of the truth.

Karen Thacker, LPC – www.journeyforward.net

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3 Relationship Experts Share Must-Know Insights on How To Deal With an Emotionally Unavailable Man

I Love My Boyfriend But I am Not Sure He is the One – What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend is Immature But I Love Him- What Should I Do?

Am I Settling Or Being Realistic? 9+ Relationship Experts Share Insightful Advice on Distinguishing Between the Two

15+ Relationship Experts Reveal What To Do When You are Falling Out of Love

How To Know When It’s Time To Let Him Go and Move on- 12+ Love Experts Share Their Best Tips, Strategies and Insights

How To Resolve Conflict in a Healthy Way: 6 Experts Share Effective Tips To Overcome Conflict + Strengthen Your Relationship)

My Boyfriend is Being a Jerk: What Should I Do (4 Relationship Experts Reveal How To Deal With Him)

5 Relationship Experts Reveal the Key Attributes of a High Value Woman

3 Relationship Experts Share Effective Ways To Discuss Boundaries With Him

5 Relationship Experts Share How Available Should You Be in a Relationship

I Want Him To Know How Much He Hurt Me- How Do I Do That?

What To Do When He Doesn’t Call Me When He Says He Will

I Want Him To Take the Lead In the Relationship- What Should I Do?

How To Communicate Effectively With a Man Without Pushing Him Away

Signs He Is the Right One To Marry- 10 Relationship Experts Reveal How To Find Out If He is Mr. Right

How To Deal With a Guy Who Doesn’t Know What He Wants

How To Be Vulnerable Without Being Needy- 7+ Love Experts Share Fascinating Insights On Creating a Strong, Passionate and Long-Lasting Relationship

7+ Experts Reveal How To Pace Your Relationship For the Long Haul

10 Effective Ways To Stop Obsessing When You Really Like a Man

Exposed: What Men Secretly Want But Will Never Tell You...