Why is this four letter word so hard for us to say? We have a much easier time letting other four letter words slip between our teeth (yeah, THAT one)….
Asking for help is seen in our society as weakness. It’s as simple as that. Asking for help may mean that you don’t know how to do something, making you seem stupid or unintelligent. Asking for help may mean that you have to relinquish control because you simply don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish everything by yourself (I am SO guilty of this). Or maybe the bigger issue is that we as human beings are so afraid of rejection that we don’t ask for help because we are scared of hearing the “n” word – “NO.”
Think about the different situations in which we never want to face rejection – a date, a job interview, school, etc. We are surrounded by rejection and we don’t know how to handle it. Maybe, if we practiced being rejected we would better know how to handle it when it happens instead of tip toeing around the issue. But who wants to be rejected? It’s such a personal defeat and takes a toll on your mental state. It’s like working out your emotions and then being sore the next day. But how do we get stronger, by shying away from working out? Hell no. We get our butts back to that gym and we work harder, building muscle and endurance.
So why not take the leap and just ask for help even if it means being rejected? I am SO guilty (and I know a few others of you are as well, even if you’re not willing to publicly admit it) of not asking for help and then being upset about NOT receiving it. This makes no sense. You can’t be upset about something if you don’t ask for it – being upset is not justified.
At the risk of burning a few bridges here is a real life example: Just yesterday I spent my afternoon cleaning the apartment. My one roommate sat there while I cleaned and didn’t offer to help at all and was going to be in my way when I went to go chip away at the layer of dust that had collected on the TV and Xbox (which he was currently playing – he has very high priorities). I got pissed because he wasn’t helping and didn’t offer to help and I had an asinine amount of homework to do and I also wanted a little relaxation time. So, in not the very nicest tone, I told him to “Get lost.” I realize now that this was completely out of line for me (well kind of – he hasn’t really helped with the maintenance of the apartment since we moved in but whatever). I didn’t ask him to help me so I didn’t really have a right to be pissed at him.
CAUTION: SEXIST COMMENT: We women need to remember that men are simple minded. He was playing the Xbox. Probably thinking more about what f-ing play he was going to run next than noticing that I was scrubbing the dirt off the kitchen floor by myself. The easiest thing we can do is to stand between the controller and the TV (so it CAN’T work, obviously) and ask for help. If he says no, well, you decide what to do. But in my case, the Xbox controllers would be somewhere where the sun doesn’t reach….ever.
If s/he does say no to your asking for help, does that warrant being upset? Maybe. It depends on the situation, circumstances, pretty much just your personal opinion of whether or not it’s justified to be mad about. But remember from last post…..discuss, don’t argue about it. I could have EASILY flew off the handle (for those of you that know me, you know I have a strong personality and will let you know how I feel – I’m not shy) and yelled at him for how little physical work he does around here. But it’s much easier to just say, “Hey, I would really appreciate it if you could help around here a little bit more. Doing the dishes and cleaning up all the time really eats up a lot of time I could be doing homework.” This can hopefully put things into perspective and make them understand a little bit of why you get frustrated.
On the other hand, if you are that person that is ignorant (maybe on purpose, maybe not) of how much people around you are doing, try being more conscious about it. I realize now that my mom did a lot around the house and she was maybe guilty of this every once in a while too – the whole not asking for help but then being upset about it thing. But in hindsight, she really shouldn’t have had to ask us kids to help her. All we were doing was sitting around watching TV or reading the latest People magazine. I didn’t realize any of this until I moved out on my own. Now, when I go back home I make a conscious effort to ask her if she needs help cooking, if she needs help cleaning, if she needs me to pick up anything at the store while I’m out. I’m not the perfect kid, but I do try to help both of my parents out when necessary. It’s so relieving sometimes to not have to ask for help but be offered it. Even if it’s as simple as picking up a towel and drying off the dishes.
So, for those of you who have too much pride to ask for help – just ask. The worst you can be told is “No,” and then you can either slap the bastard upside the head and hopefully knock some sense into him or you can let it roll off your shoulders and build up a resistance to the “n” word.
And if you’re the one sitting around not doing anything, ask what can be done or if your roommate/family/significant other needs any help doing anything. It will be rewarding for everyone.
Pocket these two cents if you wish. You never know when you or someone else might need it.