“There is nothing wrong with asking for help from others”
“I’m fine, honestly I’m fine. But are you really? I have said that sometimes and I meant quite the opposite. In fact, sometimes when I said that what I really meant was, “Please ask me again if I’m okay. Please realize what I need right now.
We all need support from time to time. And I believe most of us want to offer support and help to others as well.
There is no shortage of supply or demand, it seems, because we are all human. We have evolved to connect, live in community and be part of a group. It is rooted in our biology and physiology.
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So the challenge is really to make the link between demand and supply, like plugging in our electronic devices to recharge. Once we’ve done that, we’re open to the possibility of things getting better.
So why do we sometimes have a hard time asking or accepting help?
We have all needed more help and support this year. But have you always freely told people that you are struggling? And did you find it easy to accept support and help? If not, I want you to stop today and wonder why not.
First, it is important to recognize the repercussions of not asking or accepting help. Life is coming. And if we don’t feel comfortable asking for help after some life event or during a difficult time, then our health and well-being begins to deteriorate. And things can escalate very quickly. Too often there is a series of events that could have been stopped dead if we had asked for or received help at an earlier stage, to build a dam to stop the flow in its tracks.
So let’s see why we have trouble asking for help …
People often use the colloquialism that we don’t want to “admit it to ourselves” or that we don’t want to “admit it to others”. This is where language is so powerful, because ‘admit’ is by nature a troublesome word – it means ‘confess’ that something is true.
It automatically overlays and attaches shame – whether we have done something “wrong” or “wrong”, which we have to confess, when in reality we are doing everything “right” by asking for help. So pay attention to the language you use with others and
We all carry an identity of ourselves. Have you become your family’s “fixer”? Are you the “strong” that everyone comes to ask for help? Are you the “responsible” who feels the need to carry the weight of everything on your shoulders?
We often take these identities or give them out unconsciously when we are little. But we don’t have to keep wearing them. Once we realize we don’t want them anymore, we can let them go in small steps. You may think that if you ask for help, it means something negative about who you are. But this is not the case.
Fear of judgment
Stigma and shame have always been attached to our request for support. But they shouldn’t be. It can be an evolving desire within us to appear “strong” and if we are not, then maybe we can be “kicked out” or “abandoned” by our tribe, by the people around us. Because we are social creatures, it is a deep-rooted fear. The more we can all share about the help we need, when, why, and more openly, the better.
Fear of the state
You might be worried about having to ‘pay it back’, but real help
– a place of love and kindness
– is given freely and unconditionally.
So know that if someone is doing something nice and helping you, you don’t need to rush out and do the same for them. Others want to be needed and they want to help.
If we have a bad opinion of ourselves and feel that we are undeserving of help and support. it can be the biggest obstacle for us to ask for and accept it.
Ask yourself these questions: why the hell are you less deserving than anyone else? What would you do for others in the same situation? Why don’t you do it for yourself? You
may have trouble answering them.
As we hopefully enter a different phase of the pandemic and focus on recovery, we can all begin to realize that we need help – life events, trauma, death. loss and exhaustion. The first step towards recovery for all of us, globally, as a community and as an individual, is to recognize our needs, and to ask for and accept support.