How many times have we been told that we need to learn to ask for help, that we need to be willing to ask for help? Yet, no matter how often we hear it, the asking is still a struggle. We all struggle in different ways, with asking for different things. For some of us, we can easily ask for help with those things that have become difficult due to health, but it’s the simple everyday things that we struggle with. For others, it’s the opposite.
A post by Chronic Rants addressed this disparity. I found it interesting that she said she has no trouble asking for help that’s related to her health, but asking for something unrelated (like reaching something on a high shelf, or turning a tight screw) give her pause.
“I kept trying to excuse asking for help. I kept joking about it, and insisting that I really did need the help in a way that wasn’t health related. And then I wondered why I was trying to justify the request.” – It’s ok to ask for Help
It’s the opposite for me. I have no trouble asking for help getting something off a high shelf or anything else unrelated to my health. Why? Because to me those are things that anyone might need help doing; however, the things related to my health are personal. They are just me. I have a difficult time imagining someone else in that situation, needing that same help and asking for it.I can ask for someone to open a jar, why is it so difficult to ask for help with something my health has made difficult? Click To Tweet
I think that’s exactly what the problem is – ME! When I ask for help with something personal I feel strained, I feel useless, I feel needy, I feel weak.
When I was having so much shoulder pain that I could barely use my right arm I needed help with something as simple as cutting my meat. Asking for help in that way made me feel like a child, it made me feel weak. But, at the same time I had no choice other than to pick the entire piece of meat up with a fork (or my other hand) and eat it like a Neanderthal.
I hate the idea of having to ask for help on basic things. But, I have to remember that the problem is me. I need to change the way I think about things so that I don’t worry about what others are thinking of me. Those that know me, care enough to want to help and understand why I need that help. Those that don’t know me, don’t really matter.
I have to remember that “asking for help is like giving a gift” and remind myself that we all (most of the time) like helping others when we can, so I should be OK asking for help and allowing someone else to have the joy that comes from helping. That still doesn’t make it easier.
Ms. Rants says
Good post! I really see what you mean. As for me, saying I have “no trouble” asking for help with health-related things may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s definitely easier for me. I guess I feel like it’s obvious I need that help with health-related stuff, so asking is expected, whereas asking for help with anything else just shows an *additional* weakness that I hate to admit having. I LOVE the idea that asking for help is giving someone else the gift of being able to help. I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind from now on!
As much as I try to keep that thought in my mind, I still have a terrible time asking for help. I can’t quite convince myself that it’s a gift they really want to receive.