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Is asking for help really that complicated?

Updated: May 14, 2020

I hate asking for help. I hate having to let my guard down and put my trust in someone who could potentially screw everything up. It has happened. I am a very self-sufficient and quite a handy-dandy specimen. I can do a lot of things but unfortunately there are some things that require some other expert.

I rarely ask for help. I know a lot of people who don’t either because of the whole self-sufficiency bit. Moreover, no one wants to be a burden, or get a negative response. Then, there is the risk of being indebted to that person, probably for a very long time.

Asking for help.

The main reason most people don’t do it—they are proud. Pride takes precedence over getting out of a bind. Pride makes it hard because we fear looking ‘weak’ and even incompetent. There is no shame in asking for help. What’s the worst thing that could happen? I can hear you listing them. What do you say? What if they say no? What if that’s not the answer you’re looking for?

We all know or have a few horror stories because we took a chance. We encounter people who will look for ways to help you without you even asking because  they like the accolades. It’s hard for you to say no because they offered and you obviously don’t want to sound ungrateful. Go ahead and sound ungrateful, if your gut says no, go with your gut. You take that help and five years later, they will never let you forget that one time they helped you. You have to wonder if they wanted a medal or a statue. If you help someone, do it because you want to, not because you want to feel good about it later.

Stop reminding people about what you’ve done for them.

There is another side of the help story that really made me think. If I know you might want help and I never offer, does that make me a bad person? If later on the question is asked, ‘why didn’t you help?’ and my response is, ‘you didn’t ask’, would that be an acceptable response? Who’s responsibility it is to build the gap between offering assistance and requesting it? Is it safe to deduce that if the request was never made, then it was never needed?

There are probably more factors to consider. For example, maybe I could’ve offered but it would’ve put me at a disadvantage, financially and otherwise. Or, you didn’t ask because of your own reservations about asking for help. In the grand whole scheme of things, asking for help isn’t such a terrible thing. Still, just be careful who you ask.

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