Evidence shows that we think we're superior to others in every domain: We believe we're smarter, more attractive, more likable, and more skilled at a wide range of tasks, from math to leadership. For a long time, I hoped these narcissistic tendencies wouldn't extend to the domain of giving and helping. I was wrong.
We may be uncomfortable receiving if it came with strings attached when growing up. We may have received compliments only when we accomplished something, like winning at sports or achieving good grades. If we sensed that we weren't being accepted for who we are but rather for our achievements and accomplishments, we may not feel safe to receive.