When I was in high school I went on one of those weekend retreats that the local CYO put on every year. I had volunteered at their haunted houses in the past and was invited to this weekend called “Search” during which we all did a bunch of community activities, listened to speakers, and met in small groups to discuss our challenges and our relationship with faith and prayer. I learned a lot about myself that weekend and went on the following year to be one of the speakers and workshop leaders for the next round of the retreat. There was one moment in particular that really stuck out for me about that experience. It was at the end of the weekend when we were all getting ready to say goodbye. Everyone starting hugging one another and I was a bit taken aback. I was not really a “hugger” so I kind of half-heartedly would give one of these any time someone came my way. Then I had this one older guy come up to me who had been there all weekend and had led some of the activities. He stopped me and said,
“No, no, no. You’re not really giving a hug. Try again.”
Then he hugged me tightly until I reciprocated. When I was finally hugging him back, he stopped. Stepped back and told me, “Now THAT is how you hug!” I let myself give a real hug and it felt good. After that, I started giving real hugs to everyone I met and even to this day I give a lot of hugs. Some to people I’ve known forever and some to people I’ve just met. I always make sure people are huggers before I go for it though to avoid situations like this. I started thinking about this the other day when I had gotten some good news in my email and for some reason I didn’t respond right away. I kept asking myself why I wouldn’t take this awesome thing that was being offered to me and it eventually dawned on me that I was doing the same thing I did with accepting that first hug. When someone decides to hug you, they are showing a level of affection that’s different from a handshake and in many cases it can feel like too much, like you don’t deserve it. So it’s natural to not take in that affection, but the person wouldn’t be giving it to you if they didn’t want to.
I came to the realization that one of the challenges in being someone who enjoys giving is that you often have trouble receiving. Just like that hug all those years ago to me was overwhelming, having someone offer something to you can also be just as overwhelming, but I’ve learned that I have to be more comfortable with accepting hugs. If you make the decision to build strong relationships in your business and your life, than you will also have instances in which people will want to help you and offer you things.
Take the offer.
Take the hug.
For a long time I would almost always turn down something that was offered to me, even if I really needed it, and as a result I missed out on a lot. Looking back now, if I took more of the things that had been offered to me, if I had accepted those hugs, I may not have had as many hard times as I did when I first started my business. People naturally want to help you. Let them. You are worthy.
I’m going to go answer that email now.
What hug are YOU going to accept today?