This is not something I am necessarily good at in certain circumstances, and I’m sure that’s the case for many people. There are certain things that I know I can’t do on my own, and for the most part I won’t hesitate to ask for help in those situations. And there are things I know I can handle without a problem. It’s the grey areas that I sometimes hesitate.
For me, it’s partly because I have lived with someone who doesn’t think I’m all that capable of doing things, so it’s a natural reaction to want to show him that I can do the things he thinks I can’t. And that has carried over into accepting help in general. It’s also a pride thing and not wanting to appear helpless or dependent on others for so many things. I’d rather try to figure it out myself first and ask for help only if it turns out that I can’t do it myself. Then when I do ask for help, I want to learn how to do whatever it was so I don’t have to keep asking someone else.
Unfortunately, I think there is a stigma of appearing weak if you have to ask for help. That doesn’t necessarily get in my way, but I’m sure it does for others. Or perhaps some people see asking for help as giving up control. One area I hesitate to accept help is working out issues with people, especially when it comes to my immediate family. Even when help is offered, I sometimes hesitate. I’m not really sure why, but it probably has something to do with not wanting to accept that the problems are bad enough to even need help in the first place.
I have a child who has insisted for years that he doesn’t need any help with anything because he wants to figure out all of his problems on his own. The fact is that he does need some help and has resisted it for many years, but he is finally coming around. In talking to him about that, it has helped me come to terms with the fact that it is OK to ask for help when you need it or accept it when it is offered. However, it shouldn’t be expected that someone is always going to bail you out and solve all your problems for you. You need to do what you can whenever you can but be willing to accept help when it is necessary. And it’s always nice to give back when you can and return the favor either to the person or people who helped you out or to someone else who needs your help. People are always willing to help others who not only do what they can for themselves but are willing to help others when in need. What goes around comes around.
I think this quote sums things up nicely… “Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”
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