Accepting love from others

Receiving Love From Others: Healing Through Treatment

Receiving love from others can provide support for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

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The Importance Of Love From Others

Love from others is a necessity for humans. Love allows for connection, growth, and the survival of the human species and spirit. When we have other people’s love, we allow ourselves to surrender to their care, kindness, respect, compliments, encouragement, and commitment. Valuing the support of others can help us heal the parts of ourselves we may be struggling with so that we can transform. Furthermore, when we receive love from others without feelings of selfishness or doing so just to have needs met, we are communicating our desire to nurture and be nurtured.

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Being Open To Receiving Love From Others

Receiving love can be as simple as expressing gratitude for support or connection. However, receiving love can also be difficult for many to practice, due to self-limiting beliefs or blockages to love. Emotions like shame, guilt, or low self-esteem can keep some from receiving the love they need in healthy relationships.

Being open to receiving love begins with a choice to receive others’ love and trust their intentions. Receiving allows for love to flow freely to one individual without feeling of shame, unworthiness, or obligation. The choice to receive love can be actualized through:

  • Receiving love without obligation
  • Knowing one’s value
  • Expressing one’s need for help, love, or encouragement
  • Accepting compliments
  • Accepting help from others
  • Actively listening to others as they communicate

Receiving love is often connected to one’s self-image and ability to love themselves in a healthy manner. Receiving love is also connected with one’s self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love. If one is low in any of  these areas, they may struggle with accepting genuine self-love from others. Remembering to accept and love one’s self is a primary way to accept to love.

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Building And Maintaining Trust

Building and maintaining trust in relationships are essential for their growth and development. Trust is essential to receiving and giving love to others, because it allows for cooperation and commitment for flourish. Building trust can involve your friend, partner, family member, or co-worker showing the following characteristics:

  • Availability
  • Consideration for the needs of others
  • Consistency
  • Vulnerability
  • Accountability
  • Integrity (matching words and actions)
  • Sharing ideas and emotions
  • Acceptance

Maintaining trust allows for the giver of love and the receiver of love to have a sense of balance within the relationship. Trust can be gained over time as both parties involved in the relationship grow to depend on and confide in each other.

Cultivating Healthy Relationships And Love From Others

Healthy relationships thrive with equality, warmth, interdependence, respect, trust, playfulness, and honesty. These relationships can be extremely helpful to someone recovering from addiction, as they offer support and other valuable benefits. Due to the quality of healthy relationships, we can feel nurtured and vulnerable to confide in our loved ones, friends and spouses with a feeling of safety. Healthy relationships can be created in many places, such as:

  • Religious functions
  • Interest groups
  • Work
  • The gym
  • Treatment center activities
  • 12-Step support groups

Unhealthy relationships consist of turmoil, abuses of control, a lack of respect, lack of fondness or support, and other difficult characteristics. Either party may lack value of one’s self or the other party and may put pressure on the other in attempts to control the relationship dynamics. As a result, strains of unhealthy relationships can cause frustration and emotional blockages to love.

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Avoiding Negative Influences

Accept love in its purest, most positive form by avoiding negative people. Negative people can come in the form of friends, family, and co-workers who create conflict, criticize, discourage, or put others down. These negative or “toxic” influences are often distressing, creating negative experiences in the individual’s life.

The individual seeking transformation may drift back into stressful mental and emotional states. As a result, the individual may become discouraged from living a life of wellness or may struggle to maintain a positive attitude. Take back your power and resist any urge to dwell on negative comments, mean-spirited remarks, or discouraging feedback, and seek encouraging, supportive people.

Finally, if you are in a position to offer support to a loved one struggling with substance abuse, be mindful of the challenges they face. Be compassionate and non-judgmental as you encourage their road to sobriety.

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Get The Support You Need

Healthy relationships are essential for recovery support. If you or a family member struggle with substance abuse, or finding a healthy support system, contact a treatment provider today. They can help guide you to facilities specializing in the best support groups focusing on love and spirituality-based peer groups.

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Krystina Murray plusminus

Teach Yourself to Receive Love in 5 Steps

The holiday season is here, which means there’s more than enough love to go around. Families and friends are coming together to share the holiday spirit. It is the time for gift-giving and sharing love for one another. However, it can be easy for us to get caught up in showing love to others and forget to allow ourselves to receive love.

To be loved and nurtured by others is a basic human need. It is one of the main experiences in life that helps us grow into the best versions of ourselves. To receive another’s love means we can allow ourselves to surrender to their care, kindness, respect, praise, encouragement, and commitment. Many of us can forget that receiving love is just as important as giving it.

Why is Receiving Love Difficult?

For those of us who are natural givers, receiving love may not come naturally or may even feel uncomfortable. According to authors Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt (of Receiving Love: Letting Yourself Be Loved Will Transform Your Relationship), the root of the issue most often is self-rejection. This can go back to our childhood experience of love, in which the love given to us was not unconditional. If we feel as children we have to meet certain conditions to receive love, we may develop a core belief that we are not worthy of it just as we are. Therefore, when others try to give us love, it can trigger this core belief of unworthiness and undeservedness, making us feel uncomfortable receiving affection.

Of course, there can be many different reasons why we may find it difficult to receive love. It could be past trauma, unfamiliarity with receiving, feelings of unworthiness, and much more. Regardless, it is very common to feel resistance to receiving love in compliments, affection, accepting help, and more.

Learning to both receive and give love is hugely important for deepening our relationship with others and building our own sense of self-esteem. Here are five tips for allowing yourself to receive love this holiday season (or any time of the year!)

1. Be Aware of How You Feel When Receiving Affection

The first step to making progress with anything in life is to become aware of it. Psychologist Nathaniel Branden has said, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” If you think (or know) that you have resistance to receiving love, notice exactly what resistance comes when you receive affection from another.

When you notice it, take a breath and remember to be patient with yourself. There are many reasons why you may feel uncomfortable receiving affection, but it likely could be related to a past relationship or childhood experience where receiving love was rare, uncomfortable, only given with conditions, etc. Be understanding with yourself as you notice what discomfort or resistance comes up for you, which will bring you one step closer to accepting you may have issues receiving love. Remember that noticing is the first step to progress!

2. Talk Openly with Loved Ones About How You Feel

Being vulnerable can be difficult, especially if you have resistance to receiving love. However, being open about how you feel with someone you can trust is a great way to open yourself up to receiving affection and reassurance in a safe environment. Let a loved one know that you have noticed you have a hard time receiving affection. This can open up the space for you to explore why you feel this way and create space for compassion and reassurance.

Having someone you love and trust understand your resistance may bring you closer and create the space for progress to be formed. Sharing how you feel with a loved one is also great practice for communicating your needs, which ultimately leads to you receiving love in the way you need it.

3. Notice How You Prefer to Receive Love

Just like we prefer to give love in certain ways, we also have preferences in how we like to receive love. Some of us may particularly appreciate a nice warm hug, while others of us prefer receiving a heartfelt gift.

These different ways of receiving love are known as the five love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, receiving gifts, and acts of service. There may be one or two ways of receiving love that you are more comfortable with than others.

It can make a huge difference to recognize how you prefer to receive love and to communicate this to the people in your life. This can make receiving love feel easier and allow the people in your life to show their affection for you in the way you best receive it.

4. Seek the Help of a Professional

Receiving love can feel especially uncomfortable or difficult for those of us that have experienced sexual or relationship trauma. There is absolutely no shame in this, as trauma dramatically changes how we interact with our external world and relationships. Healing from trauma is a lifelong journey and it can be extremely helpful to work with a specialist who can assist you on your healing journey in the way you need.

Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford, a marriage and family therapist and forensic psychologist, discussed the importance of addressing sexual trauma on the Dear Sex Podcast: “Because its [effects of trauma] are transcending to other areas of our lives… [if we are] not being able to function because of what happened to us, we have no choice but to address it”.

We all deserve to receive love, and traumatic events can make it difficult to open ourselves up to trusting and being vulnerable. One of the first big steps of healing from trauma is addressing what happened to us, and it may be best to do this with a licensed professional who can provide a safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental space.

5. Accept That You Are Worthy of Love

Realizing you are worthy of being loved, just like any other human being, is ultimately the biggest step to allowing yourself to receive love from others. There are many different ways to go about developing self-worth, like catching yourself in self-deprecating thoughts and changing the story, seeing a therapist, being vulnerable with a friend, etc.

Remember, there is no right way to develop self-worth. Feeling worthy is not an overnight process, so it’s essential to have patience with yourself and take it one step at a time.


For many of us, giving love comes naturally. This is a beautiful thing, as showing our love for others brings us closer to them and allows us to brighten another’s day. However, it is equally important to open yourself up to receiving love from friends, family, or partners. Ultimately, realizing you are worthy of being loved is a big step towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

How to receive love

You just need to learn how to really see and hear others, and also sincerely talk about your feelings.

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To see manifestations of love

Before you learn to accept love, you need to notice how people express it.

Each of us does it in our own way, and you can study all the nuances of expressing feelings only of a really close person. However, to help beginners, relationship consultant Gary Chapman, Ph.D., has created a system that makes it easy to recognize the basic manifestations of love. According to the expert, who, by the way, has been happily married for 45 years, there are five ways to show your feelings. If someone praises us, talks about virtues, he uses words of encouragement to express love. We are most likely adored by a person who always has time to talk, take a walk, go to the cinema. Caring people give us gifts with pleasure, and they always know what will please us for sure. Those who love are ready to render a service, to help in something. And finally, love is demonstrated with the help of touches, hugs, kisses. Therefore, the first task is to start observing others and understand what their love looks like. nine0003

Be open

“Everything shrinks like an old tattered shoe, and now it’s scratching for work, as if hammering in piles,” these words of secretary Vera, unfortunately, can also describe many modern women. Even if someone once sought to express their feelings for us, such a response from our side most likely destroyed all enthusiasm. The fact is that we perceive the image of another person intuitively. “This is done by the limbic system, the most ancient structure in the brain, which is also responsible for love and its manifestations,” explains Jeremy Nicholson, a social psychologist who specializes in influence and persuasion. It is the limbic system that processes incoming information and, even before we have time to understand something, unconsciously makes a decision. That is, those around us, seeing the portrait of Lyudmila Kalugina in our performance, interpret it as a signal “this girl does not need our feelings” and pass by. Therefore, in order to receive love, you need to show this desire literally with your whole body. nine0003

The same Vera suggested how to become open: “The head is slightly raised, the eyes are slightly lowered, the shoulders are thrown back. The gait is free, from the hip. Uninhibited free plasticity of the panther before the jump. And Jeremy Nicholson agrees with her. In his opinion, it is enough to reduce the formal distance, not to cross arms and legs. Smile and look into the eyes, but a shyly lowered gaze also shows interest quite well. If, however, we demonstrate a “red light,” as the expert calls any closed posture, a person will understand without words that his manifestations of love are not interesting to us. nine0003

...protect health and promote recovery after major surgery, an American Psychological Association study found. These conclusions were reached after scientists observed 225 people who underwent bypass surgery for 15 years. Those who received the support and love of loved ones survived almost 4 times more often.

Accepting love in small portions

Of course, love is not fitness. But you can’t learn to accept it overnight, just as it’s impossible to suddenly become a marathon runner. This skill also needs to be trained gradually. Coach Kristin Arilo, author of several books on the art of loving yourself and others, suggests learning to accept the simplest manifestations of this feeling as a warm-up. For example, someone's offer of help, care, and, of course, compliments! “It takes only 20 seconds for us to accept praise or any other pleasant word,” convinces the coach. “And by giving up the little, we will lose the big. ” nine0003

Social political scientist Ben Rubinstein says it's worth accepting a compliment at this stage, even if we don't quite agree with it. So that doubts do not interfere, we should shift the focus: not to think “did I deserve it?”, but to thank the other person for appreciating us. Sometimes it's enough to say "thank you very much", it's easy, even if we were taken by surprise. And you can express how valuable these words are for us. The wordings are suitable for this: “Thank you, this means a lot to me”, “Thank you, it’s great that you noted the quality that I myself am proud of”, “Thank you, I tried very hard”. nine0003

Having become accustomed to enjoying such modest manifestations of other people's feelings, we will soon learn to receive something more.

Accept sincere love

Many of us find it difficult to accept love, and most of us blame ourselves for it. On the one hand, such a position is constructive, it provides an opportunity to change for the better. However, there are situations when it is really possible to shift responsibility to another. According to psychologist Maria Makarova, it is difficult for us to accept other people's feelings when they are insincere. And since it’s hard to determine right off the bat, there is a vague feeling: “This person is so cute, why am I rejecting him, what is wrong with me?” nine0003

Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that our interlocutor is sincere. How to do it? Maria Makarova shares one of the ways: “You need to correlate what a person says, what emotion he expresses and how he behaves. If these parameters do not match, we begin to suspect insincerity, which is confusing. This does not mean that they are deliberately trying to deceive us. It is likely that the other is also embarrassed, distrustful of us, and this prevents us from being sincere.

If we care about this person's feelings, we should find out what is going on between you. Maria Makarova offers a direct way: share your thoughts with your partner. After all, doubts are a natural part of any relationship, and the ability to reveal your anxieties leads to real intimacy and increases the chance that the partner will be able to dispel these doubts. nine0003

This is exactly what Harvard researchers Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert came to when they tested 2,250 participants. It turned out that it is in these moments that we are focused on the present and happy “here and now”.

Give love

“The acceptance and giving of love are two components of one process: the harmonious development of relationships. If we are constrained in expressing feelings, it is difficult for us to accept them. It is important to see if we return care, attention, support, acceptance to our loved ones. After all, this is precisely the expression of love, and this is what we expect from others, ”says art therapist Lyudmila Yevtushevskaya. Therefore, it is useful to understand what kind of feedback we give to loved ones, and literally develop the skills of showing love. “For example, you can express your feelings out loud more often. Do not be silent, but thank if you are grateful for something. Admire openly, in simple but sincere words. If a loved one has achieved something important for him, do not devalue the achievement, do not advise how to do it even better, but recognize success. Simply describe what is happening out loud without suppressing your warm feelings. This technique helps to express and, therefore, accept emotions more openly,” says Lyudmila Yevtushevskaya. nine0003

You can remember all your once valuable and important relationships. Think about what they have in common, why was it so comfortable? Psychologist Anastasia Saprykina believes that by making these tendencies obvious, it will be easier to cultivate them in new relationships.

Text: Julia Arbatskaya,
Daria Sviridovich

How to learn to accept love and attention from loved ones


March 18, 2018, 13:35

How to learn to accept love and attention from loved ones

Irina Maslova ∙ Psychologist, coach,

March 14, 2018, 15:09

The theme of love is truly multifaceted. With the word “love”, we are used to thinking primarily about the relationship between a man and a woman, today we will talk about love between loved ones, family. More precisely, about what prevents us from accepting their love, attention, care. Agree, very often we complain ourselves or hear from our girlfriends, friends that relationships with loved ones are not quite the same as we would like. And after all, if you look, in the vast majority of cases, each of the parties sincerely wants happiness, but for some reason we perceive it in a completely different way. nine0003


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Remove the burden of the past

Very often, the acceptance of love is hindered by traumas that we experienced in connection with these same people in childhood - we were offended, made to be ashamed, we could scold, shout and even use physical force. Or we were convinced that we are not worthy of love, attention. It doesn’t matter what exactly is stopping you, but this burden of the past, our memories, emotions, traumatic situations prevents us from perceiving these people sincerely - we still feel resentment and look at them through it. In this case, it is very important to honestly look at the situation, admit to yourself that there are some moments that still cling to us, still pop up in our memory. And now our task is to forgive. Forgiveness for what happened once upon a time, so that our past ceases to be a “dark shadow” between us and our loved ones. When we do this sincerely, from the bottom of our hearts, there is a release and relief. After that, accepting love, caring for loved ones becomes an order of magnitude easier. nine0003

Learn to see love

An important step towards changing the situation is also our ability to notice love and attention. We are so arranged that in many ways we live in expectations. We want everything to match our ideal ideas, including in love. How we should be looked after, what words to say, how to look. And when it happens differently, we are quite sincerely upset and even believe that we are not loved! We do not notice that there are signs of attention, love, in principle. Therefore, it is very important to drop expectations and start seeing. When they check whether we have a hat on in the cold, they take care of our health. When they feed to the fullest and give gifts, this is love, or when they call several times a day, this is also love. Just not the one we would like, the one we are waiting for. And here it is important to see it and accept it. And thank. Because they don’t know how to do it differently or don’t know that it’s possible, and they simply haven’t been taught. Therefore, learn to see it, accept it and thank you. And move on to the next step. nine0003

Don't be afraid to speak out loud

Learn to say what you want. Yes, in love it is extremely important to speak. After all, how else can we understand each other so accurately? If we are silent, relatives will see our discontent, but they will still be at a loss as to what we expect from them. Help them and yourself. Tell me what you are waiting for, be prepared that you may have to repeat. We are used to saying that we are hungry, that we need such and such a thing, that we are tired and want to rest, but to say that specific words or gifts are important to us, or maybe hugs, is more difficult for us. Learn to do this, and, most likely, you will receive exactly the love and care that you are waiting for, and your relationships with loved ones will become warmer and more joyful. nine0003

Strive to take the first step towards

In addition, watch yourself - very often in situations where it is difficult for us to accept the love of loved ones, it is difficult for us to give it away. We are closing ourselves. It turns out a vicious circle - relatives see our coldness, rejection and are simply afraid to disturb us once again, and we continue to be cold and wait for them to take the first step. Get started yourself first. Praise, compliment, gift, hug. Show that you are ready - ready to open up, to take a step forward, that you notice what is happening to them, in their lives, that your care, support, love is also important to them.

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