13 August, 2007

When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way

H. E. L. P.

I used to jump rope to this word

"Capital H. E. L. P."

It is a word I dislike using. I am one of those people who, in my own country, in my own city, in my own life, has great difficult asking for... help.

Take this fish out of her bowl and wow... can I ask for help

"Where is..." I don't believe in wasting time. We are trying to get somewhere, let's ask for directions. Let's get help. There is time and place for an adventure... if this is not one of those times, then help is required.

Another country, another language... I am all about seeking help. Not only will I ask for help, I will also admit to not understanding, admit that I honestly "do not know" something, and will happily request advice or guidance. Life is just too short for me to be lost or seeking information and be unwilling to find it from the natives.

Then why, pray tell, in my own life, in my own bowl, do I have such a hard time asking for help? Do I honestly believe that it is different on my stomping grounds? I suddenly become perfect, able to do everything and all knowing? Asking for help suddenly and magically becomes a sign of weakness?

I know this about myself. I know that help is not something I seek without great trepidation. I realize that I want to not have to ask for help and am not sure why that is.

And yet, I am very happy to help others who ask!

I do not find it an inconvenience, a waste of my time, or a show of weakness when another seeks my help. I give it no thought at all. I am simply happy to help.

I am sure that there is some huge psychological reason for this like I tend to ask the wrong people for help - those who expect overwhelming platitudes or medals of honor... or those who continuously remind me of the inconvenience that my request for help has created.

Perhaps it is that I don't want to trouble people? I don't want to ask them to give up their time to help me as I know just how precious their time is?

Or, perhaps, just perhaps, it is that I am so fiercely independent when in my own bowl that I want to do it all on my own and think that I am less when I can not?

H. E. L. P.

Such a small word and yet... it is so hard for me to say.

33 comments:

Scotty said...

I am the exact same way, just remember that everyone needs it at some point. Much easier to ask of those you consider as being "I do appreciate you being round."

The Exception said...

Scotty - ;) Sadly, it is some of those people who ensure that I know just how much they are putting off to help.

Scotty said...

some of those people

Well, then its time to concentrate on the ones who don't make it known how much they are putting off, right? I know, sometimes very few and far between...

AaroN said...

PRIDE.

The Exception said...

Scotty - Fe and far between... too true.

Speaking of far - you are flying out to "help" with the nailing and screwing and other physical labor? ;)

Aaron - Pride... isn't that a large group of lions? ;)

I am not a proud person, I just think that I should be able to do it on my own! (and others feel that I should be able to as well, which doesn't help the situation)

Scotty said...

nailing and screwing and other physical labor?

Of course! Still waiting on that list ;)

The Exception said...

The list is in the works - maybe I will have it to you before my birthday rolls around! ;)

JustRun said...

I have no idea. I suffer from the same affliction. All the better reason to simplify, I guess. But I've yet to do that well, either.

KennethSF said...

I think asking for help is more acceptable in some cultures than others. In Asia, where I grew up, people live in such tight-knit communities that they don't seem to mind asking one another for assistance. On the other hand, the West emphasizes self-reliance, so it's much harder to admit you need to lean on someone else at times. Ultimately, I think asking someone to help you is also a show of trust and confidence in the other person--it's an honor (or a burden) that some people aren't well-prepared for.

The Exception said...

Just Run - Simplifying is a start, but sometimes it is just impossible to do all that needs to be done. Asking for help shouldn't be so difficult for us, but it is.

Kenneth SF - Thanks for dropping in!

Well stated. Other cultures live in a more communal environment. Helping one another is part of the lifestyle. I found it more "assumed" that there would be help when living abroad. Americans take pride in the ability to do it all on their own - with the popularity of digital relationships, I have a feeling that this will not change anytime soon.

cathouse teri said...

Yes, I agree with Aaron. It's a large group of lions that keeps us from asking for help.

Pride sometimes comes in small packages. :)

Willow said...

I noticed when I changed career/jobs that I had no problem whatsoever with asking for "help." I would never have landed this job, if I had been hesitant when it came to asking for help. I still do not hesitate to ask a colleague when I do not know the answer. I can't imagine where I would be, if I hadn't asked for help:)

Wait, yes I can--I'd still be at my last dead end job!

cathouse teri said...

I believe that it's people helping people that binds us. People... people who need people... are the luckiest people in the world! Right?

By not swallowing our pride (and that can be a lotta lions!) and asking others for help, we are depriving them of the opportunity and pleasure of doing their part.

Truly.

I should know. I have not a single lion left. Meow.

cathouse teri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

For me asking for help was always connected to disappointment. You put some of yourself out there to find it is just left there to dry up in the sun. I've gotten better in my personal life, but businesswise I still have trouble not projecting the image of someone strong.

The Exception said...

Teri - Most definitely. People helping people is the idea - even when those people are like a pride of lions. I definitely do not want to deprive them of the joy they will feel in helping me.... ;)

Willow - Oddly, that is one aspect I forgot. At work and when networking, I am great at asking for help too. It is all in my personal life. Just me, as mom, as woman, that is when asking for help becomes as issue.

The Exception said...

Mike - I can relate. Sometimes it is difficult to ask for help if you have experienced a negative response. I got so tired of hearing "I wish I could, but" that I have stopped asking that person for help unless it is something truly important. It is difficult enough for me to ask for help; it is harder to hear all the reasons one wishes he/she could but can't.

Scotty said...

Birthday? When?

Ryan said...

Being independent has a few drawbacks. I think you just nailed the one on the top of the list.

People become independent by doing little things for themselves, and then more things.... etc. It's a confidence thing. Asking for help has a little to do with pride, but more in losing a 'little' piece of confidence.

No one likes to lose any amount of confidence and without asking for help, even if the task takes longer and is tougher to accomplish - a greater sense of confidence is achieved and subconsciously the mind is saying "that was worth it".

I didn't really mean to use up that much of your space, but I feel more confident now that I have that out.

Ba Doozie said...

strangely enough the very few times I've been at the bottom of the pit and actually ASKED for help, no one responded....boy did that feel good after all the times I helped and all the times I went without help because I was too proud to ask. aint life awesome!

rubytuesdays said...

Do you think maybe it's because you feel you don't want to impose on someone else?

Airam said...

You're not alone with the not being able to ask for help. I know that for me I felt inadequate if I ever needed it. But truth is sometimes I just need help and I feel so much better knowing that I've got a safety net so to speak. And think of it this way ... if you're happy to help your friends and family then chances are they feel the same way!

The Exception said...

Scotty - Do you think I am just going to offer up such an important date without a bit of coaxing?

Ryan - Feel free to use this space to build your confidence as much as you like!

There is definitely something to what you wrote. As parents we encourage our kids to try to do it themselves before asking for help to help build their confidence and exercise those reasoning muscles. IT makes sense that, to some extent, the same idea carries through into our adult lives.

And for me, depending on someone else... well, that is truly a challenge.

Doozie - What you described truly is a horrible feeling. I have been there as well. For some, (most) I will drop most anything to help whenever possible. It is hard, given how rarely I do ask for help, when they will not lend a hand. I don't help because I want it in return, but... it would be nice if they would help all the same.

Ruby - That is a BIG part of it.

Airam - That safety net can be key. It is nice to know that someone is there if you ever need them - and even when you don't!

I think, for the most part, people do like to help. There are the few that just... don't.

Scotty said...

Yes. Or a hint at least.

The Exception said...

Scotty - Hint? It is between now and the end of the year.

Scotty said...

Urgh.

The Exception said...

You didn't like that hint... ?

There are songs that contain the name of my month - old songs, but songs all the same.

Scotty said...

So now you have narrowed it down to 5 months..

The Exception said...

What kind of hint would you like?

Scotty said...

ummm... one that ncludes the exact date. no funny business :)

The Exception said...

Scotty - Do you have ways of making me talk???

Scotty said...

From here, I am thinking not so much.

The Exception said...

Scotty - Which leaves me wondering what you would do were I there? or you here?