If you’re giving love and not receiving it, you’re in the wrong relationship.  If you’re receiving love and not giving it, then you are taking advantage of the other person.  Stagner 

                   The Case Against Humility

Last week’s newsletter began a series of messages surrounding the concept of “positive addictions.”  In that article, we discussed the importance of love, in all its forms, as a part of a healthy, positive, lifestyle.  Today, I’ll be reviewing the second of the four “positive addictions”:

                              Gaining worth and recognition

This “positive addiction” is similar to the first one in that there are

two parts to it.  Just as we recognized that some of us were better “givers” than “takers” of love in the last newsletter, the same dynamic appears to be in play with this one.

So let’s explore the “gaining worth” half of this addiction.  Most successful and productive individuals are pretty good at this positive behavior pattern.  We set goals and accomplish many of them.  We make lists and enjoy crossing each item off as we achieve the task.  Simply stated, we like doing useful things.  Good for us!

The other side of this second positive addiction is trickier for many of us.  We chafe at the idea of being recognized in a group.  Asked to stand up to receive applause in front of others, we barely rise and hurry to be reseated.  Why is this?  Many reasons, I suppose.  In my case, I was raised to believe that humility was a virtue, while pride was labeled as the worst of the “seven deadly sins.” 

Taken to its extreme, prideful, boastful conduct is obnoxious and offensive.  But a reluctance to accept earned appreciation and acknowledgement is not healthy behavior either.  Good behavior should be rewarded by others. as well as ourselves.  Giving yourself a well- earned pat on the back won’t wrench your shoulder out of joint.  And as an aside, when you reject recognition from others, we deny friends and relatives the opportunity to “give love.” 

Ben Franklin reportedly advised others with this dictum,

                         “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”

While it is hard to challenge the wisdom of this great Founding Father, I must do so on this topic.  I’d replace that venerable Philadelphian’s directive with this simple modification:

                              “ Be a borrower and a lender.”

In other words, give AND receive love.  Accomplish your goals AND accept credit for it.  All will all benefit from your adoption of the first two “positive addictions.”