Connection: accept genuine hospitality

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Hospitality — generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests : hospitable treatment.

Many cultures and religions have strong traditions of extending hospitality, even to strangers. Often because it originated as a matter of survival. During early days, helping others was necessary for survival of the species. Along the way, extending hospitality was woven into most people’s hormonal reward system by nature and nurture. Extending hospitality that is gratefully received causes the release of dopamine and a feeling of pleasure.

Unfortunately, many of us no longer depend on others to survive and live comfortably. We commonly refuse offers of hospitality and miss an opportunity to make a connection. Some refuse because they don’t want to be a bother, some refuse because they see the world through a transactional prism and don’t want to feel obligated to return the gesture, some see themselves as rugged independent individuals who view asking for or accepting a favor as a sign of weakness.

People often don’t realize that by refusing an offer, they are depriving the other person of the pleasure of helping, especially if it is someone they care about. Think of it as a gift.

How would you feel if you offered someone a gift and they said, “No thanks, I don’t need it.” or “No thanks, I don’t want it.”

That is the message when someone offers to help and is rebuffed.

Relationships deepen when generous offers are gratefully accepted.

Connection grows when we accept genuine offers of help.

As connection grows, trust grows.

Not all offers to help are equal. There are transactional characters who only offer when there is an unspoken expectation of a return. And those offers we must consider carefully, just like entering into any contract or taking on debt.

But when favor is offered without expectation of return, it’s okay to accept the gift. Sometimes even when you don’t really need it.

And when you see an opportunity to help someone else, if you go out of your way to do so in most cases you’ll be glad you did.

Be a High-Trust Leader:  practice accepting small favors with gratitude and see how it affects your relationships.

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