Friday, March 9, 2012

The Help

A facebook conversation with a friend today has left me wondering why we so often deny ourselves help from others. Each of us has a friend, a couple if we're lucky, who we know we can call on for help at any time. I call these friends "3a.m. Friends". The friend(s) who you know that if you were to call them at three in the morning they'd be there for you no questions asked. Some of you are that 3a.m. friend. But, when the tables are turned you refuse to make the call.

When we are stressed from the added burdens in our lives what stops us, especially women, from reaching out and asking for help. We pour on what is happening but when help is offered we down play it. Taking a minute to compose ourselves and brush off the helpless feeling and taking on one more thing now that you have convinced yourself you are super mom, super woman, super wife. This does not apply to just women. My husband will drop anything to help a friend, a neighbor, his family, but get him to ask for help with anything and he'd rather lower himself to stopping and asking for directions!

Are we afraid of rejection? Are we afraid of being recognized as helpless, weak, impaired in some way? What are we afraid of. Why is asking for help something that is just unheard of? Recently a friend of mine was laid up. I told her to call on me for anything and I meant it. I reminded her I was cooking and storing that week and it was nothing to set aside some for her. Whether she took me up on that or not I had planned on sending her some meals. But guess what...she asked! It blew me away! A friend of mine asked for help. This was unheard of. No one has the balls anymore to speak up and ask for help. She did. I admired her a hundred times more in that moment for the very fact that she recognized she could not do it all!

There are people out there who offer the help but don't mean it. "Call me if you need anything" is what you hear but the fear in their eyes is that you might just call. And when you do there is always an excuse or something going on where they would if they could. These are not your 3a.m. Friends. They also don't ask for help because they fear owing you one. A friend in need is a friend indeed not apply.

But what about the people who are willing helpers but won't ask for help? Or is it that some people simply can't ask for help. Asking for help does not make you weak. It does not stunt your independence. It is not a sign that you can't accomplish anything. Asking for help is an admittance that you are not meant to take on everything. And it's okay to admit that. You can be a hero tomorrow but today if you need it please ask for the help!

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