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.