“I hate to ask for help,” she said. Clichés are often true. In this case, apples don’t fall far from the tree. Go ahead, Google “Hardest words to say,” and see what you come up with.
I am sorry
I am wrong
I don’t know
I love you
That is a list I can identify with. How about you?
Why is it so hard to ask for help?
I fear rejection. They might say no. They may think less of me for needing help.
I fear to impose. They might want to say no, yet feel like they have to say yes. They have so many other burdens to carry. I don’t want to be just one more.
I am independent. I can do it myself. Besides, others often fail me. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
If I ask and they help me, they may hold it up to me forever saying, “You would be nothing had I not helped you.”
I want control of the outcome. They might help, but not help in the way I want.
I need affirmation – support for my plan. They might offer advice. Opinion. Tell me how to do it instead of just supporting my plan.
Have you experienced some or all these anxious feelings when you needed help?
What if you need help and you don’t ask for help? You may injure yourself. You may get burned out, exhausted or ill, trapped. What if you just wait for someone to see your need and offer? You kind of huff and puff and hint and sigh. They may reject you anyway. Seeing your need, they may offer or foist help on you whether you want it or not -give you pink preppie skirts when you needed hiking boots. One way or another, they will doubtless offer advice and opinion.
So why not ask specifically for what you need? Choose your confidant or potential benefactor carefully. If you need a car mechanic, a medical doctor is probably not a good substitute. A multi-level marketer may not be your best counselor, nor does your great grandma a sturdy piano mover make. Go ahead and choose with care. Ask. Then trust them a little bit. A wise helper might teach you how to fish. They might lend you their fishing gear. They might have greater insight into your roadblocks and challenges and give wise counsel – a needed boost rather than a ruthless kick in the pants.
But if they say, “Hey, I know you are desperate for money. Let’s talk about getting you a loan! (or buying lottery tickets – or robbing a bank – or some other get-rich quick scheme).” Nah! Withdraw your request and run the other way. Helping you spend or helping you into debt is not helping you.
You can ask for help and still remain yourself and guard your heart. We all need a little help of one kind or another from time to time. May you – and I – have the wisdom and discernment to know when to ask for help and the dignity to receive help without selling out our deepest dreams or indenturing our spirits to shame.