All of us have a longing to be the recipient of caring gestures and offerings that express thoughtfulness and sensitivity to what we need. However, many of us also experience a certain level of discomfort around receiving because, even as it may benefit us and be what we wish for, it also challenges us. Too often, we have grown up believing that the less we ask for the better. Feelings of being a burden or imposition can lead us to avoid accepting things in general. As a result, we are often confused by our conflicted responses to receiving.
So, why is accepting help so hard?
These complicated reactions to receiving can partly stem from our attachment history. Our early attachments help shape how we relate to others and how we expect others to relate to us. If we experienced an insecure pattern of attachment in childhood, we may feel less trusting or secure in our adult relationships. If we weren’t used to receiving consistent, quality care from our parents or attachment figures, it can feel painful or confusing to accept this from others throughout our lives.