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‘Tis better to give than watch me receive

Had a gift sitting beside me at work today.  I read the card – savored it – but couldn’t bring myself to open the bag.  Didn’t feel comfortable even opening in front of the other person in the office, and it wasn’t even FROM him.

I have the hardest time opening gifts in front of someone!!  My family included.  I get all shy and slow about it, especially at Christmas.  We each get one gift at a time and everyone opens their gifts, then another is selected for each in the group, I usually end up with a few piled up while we go around the room ‘C’mon Amanda – you’re not opening yours’. 


Don’t look at me.


I try to time it so the focus is on someone else and hurry and open the gift while everyone is preoccupied. 

I think I’ve narrowed my issue down to a couple of possible reasons.

1) I have a very expressive face and wear my heart (and all my other organs) on  my sleeve.  What if I don’t give that first reaction that the gift giver is hoping for??  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Actually, believe it or not, I don’t like the focus on me – period.  Yes, I can ham it up sometimes – but I don’t really like being looked at.  I know.  Get the straight jacket.

(ie: Someone mentioned an outfit I wore to work, which, was quite appropriate for work, but because he liked it, and obviously ‘he’ was a man – I haven’t worn that ensemble since). 

2) I really am uncomfortable receiving anything – and would much rather be the giver.  I squirm when someone wants to do something nice for me.  I’m working on this, but honestly, I can’t even let you buy me a Happy Meal at McDonalds without feeling all indebted and awkward.

I’m sure there’s some psychological reason for #2.  Probably something about feeling unworthy etc. etc. etc. 


A friend pointed out a while back that I’m denying others the pleasure of blessing me.  Then I just felt even worse about it.

It is not a conscious thing I do!  I truly, truly feel uncomfortable being on the receiving end of charity or gifts.

When my son had his ‘incident’ in my new-to-me car, I didn’t have the deductible required to have the repairs done.  I needed to make my only mode of transportation operational again.  I had to borrow money from my best friend.  Oh boy.  Just asking for that favor about killed me. 

I can pay her back in a couple of months, plus interest, but the whole ordeal was incredibly humiliating for me.  Of course, she responds to my long, apologetic request with a light-hearted ‘of course!’.  I make everything so much bigger than it needs to be.

I wouldn’t think twice about helping a friend.  Giving a gift to a friend.  You could have the shirt off my back and I wouldn’t be thinking about it the next day even … but somehow, the logic that others feel that way too when they give, does not sink in with me.  I know it to be true, but don’t feel it.   

Good news is – you can trust me with a can of worms, or even a can of whoop ass, because I assure you – I won’t open them.