Why is it so hard for a lot of us to ask for help? Do we perceive it as a sign of weakness? Is it stubborn pride? What’s the skinny here, folks?
I’m a sufferer of this problem, too – I would rather cut off my left foot than ask someone to help me…it’s just ridiculous. Case in point: the handle has been broken off my sliding glass patio doors for TWO YEARS now, and I haven’t asked anyone to help me fix it. I tried doing it myself and failed miserably – so there it sits, broken, a constant reminder of my never-ending inadequacies. I will have to hire someone to do it, I know, but in the grand scheme of life there are so many more important things to worry about. But grr that door pisses me off! Thankfully I have some really amazing friends and loved ones who understand my stubborn streak, as they will regularly help me with things when they notice them – and you’ve no idea how grateful I am! But I sure do hate to ask, though…
So, my stubbornness is pretty big and legendary-which kind of makes me Her Majesty Princess Pig-Headed of Hypocrite Island, since I get über pissed off when people don’t let me help them. I know some peeps who are going through some tough times these days, and I so wish they’d let me help them, but no dice. I’m not sure if it’s stubborn, foolish pride, or they hate my guts and think me inadequate, or what it is, but it’s so hard to watch those you care for struggling and feeling helpless to make things better for them. We as a society are famous for being martyrs, for struggling when we don’t need to, for putting up with injustices and miseries that are unnecessary, simply because we don’t want to acknowledge that we could use a hand. Why is that? Why do we struggle and suffer, when it would be so much easier to just ask for help?
I read an article on this topic today – and the author pointed out some of the reasons that we don’t ask for help: What if they say “no” to my request? What if they ignore my request? What if they see my request as a waste of time? These are things that go through my head – but mostly, I’m a fiercely independent person, and I don’t want to rely on anybody for anything. The reason? The times in my life when I have relied on people have pretty much (not always, but mostly) ended badly. This is probably why I tend to keep things pretty close to the chest, meaning that I rarely share the things that are going on in my life with those around me – first and foremost, you’d be surprised at how few people actually ask how I am and what is going on with me (and how few listen to the responses), but it goes deeper than that. I don’t know if it’s my upbringing or what, but I feel that I have always been raised to keep one hell of a tight grip on my emotions…do you know what I mean? I see people crying in public and it floors me – I just don’t do that. I know people who have had shitty days at work who take the rest of the week off to stay home and recuperate their mind, body and soul – and I’m the dumbass that’s there the next day toiling in the salt mines. It makes no sense. Why is it so hard for me to show things to others? It’s funny – I will shed tears over things that touch me (like I sobbed over the Wee One playing the piano in her recital last week!), and I never hesitate to gush love and affection for those that I care for…but I still hold back so much. I hate that about myself. It’s rare that I ever let my true colors show and let the freak flag fly – I wonder what would happen if I did? Would it be like asking people for help – I’d be no worse off before I asked, and just think of how great the result could be????!
The author of the article I read referred to asking for something as ‘playing BIG’ – here’s what she got out of it: People can still say “no” to my requests and it doesn’t have to be personal. It’s just a “no.” / I don’t need to give back every time I receive. Sometimes, I can just relax and receive. It’s may be hard and unfamiliar for me to do so, but at the same time it’s worth practicing. / Nobody is above or below me. / No matter who I am, if someone opens their heart to me, communicates clearly and concisely, and shows me they “get” me by sharing something I care about, I will totally want to help them out. Wouldn’t you? / For me, playing big means taking risks, loving myself no matter what happens, trusting in a higher power, and expressing my truth, first to myself and then to others.
Deep, eh? I know – she’s so right about all of it, especially the part about nobody is above me or below me. This is a funny one – I have tremendous amounts of respect for people in the workplace and around me, not necessarily those that I should respect, but those that have earned it and who I believe are deserving. There are people in positions of authority (none at my current school, thankfully) who are first-rate douchebags, and I absolutely refuse to treat them special just because they are ‘above’ me – screw that noise. I will be polite and courteous – and that’s it…I don’t have much of an ass-kissing gene, and apparently, 42 is not the right age to develop one. In the same vein, I don’t believe that I am any better (or worse) than anybody else that I work with – we are all equal, end of story. I don’t hesitate to pitch in and help anybody at work that I see may need it – I don’t care if they are top dog or at the bottom of the ladder. We are all human, and we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Just think how much easier life would be if we all rolled up our sleeves, pitched in and helped each other. 🙂
It’d be fabulous. 🙂 The work would be done better, and far more quickly…and then we could get to Happy Hour on time. 🙂 Remember, friends…it’s 5:00 somewhere. 😉