“What if both people in the movie picking situation are adamant about seeing the other’s movie?”

So sometimes other people are nice, and we’ll wrap up with that.

Here’s me being honest: this is probably the hardest part about dealing with other people for me.

I don’t mind difficult people.

I kind of like them.

I struggle allowing other people to do things for me. I don’t really like letting them acquiesce and give me my way by letting me pick the movie or the restaurant or whatever.

Learning to accept kindness from others is one of the central parts of being in relationship, and it is odd that so many of us have a hard time with it.

It may also be odd that there are plenty of people who are perfectly okay with only receiving kindness and rarely returning it, but we’re ending on a positive note.

So, take a moment and think of something nice you’ve done for someone else. Picture the look on their face, maybe the excitement they showed. Remember what that was like for you, how good it felt to offer that to someone else.

This is what you are stealing from other people if you cannot accept kindness or sacrifice from them.

There is a further element in all of this though, one that may be even more important.

There is no way around the fact that doing things for others puts us in the driver’s seat of the relationship, especially if it involves listening when they need us to, or helping with deeper issues and struggles.

There’s a reason counselors cannot be friends with clients immediately after termination of the counseling relationship. Information has been shared in one direction for the duration of their relationship and this creates a problematic dynamic in that one person knows a lot more about the other.

Think about this in terms of not letting others help us with things or not letting them in on what we are struggling with, while listening to their problems and struggles. It creates the same imbalance, only without the formal boundaries and structures that make a therapeutic relationship valuable. It can also create a sort of debt that shifts the way the relationship plays out. Many people do this on purpose.

Ask yourself why you struggle to accept kindness from others.

Is it a pride thing, a power thing or a lack of worthiness maybe? Maybe you just aren’t used to it. Whatever the reason, let the people you love do nice things for you.

Then shut up and pick your movie.