You know how most people have a habit they want to break in their quest for personal development? It may be something as simple as staying up late unnecessarily or something as serious as not being able to properly communicate your feelings. A few people may have managed to rid themselves of these habits but I’m not one of those people 🤣. I unfortunately, still have a number of these things to deal with…from buying numerous journals/notepads I’d never use, to letting things go when I’m supposed to address them. I’m deeply flawed.
Well, all this long story is because this post will be centred around one of such habits of mine – finding it difficult to ask for help.
I used to find it difficult to ask someone to go out of their way to help me and I don’t have any idea why. When it comes to asking for help with anything that benefits only me, it’s like my tongue gets stuck to the roof my mouth and I just can’t utter the words.
Anytime someone offers to help me with something, my default answer is “No, thanks”. I’ve just never been comfortable with people going out of their way for me. Sometimes I convince myself that it makes sense because I don’t want to owe anyone. However, if I’m being honest with myself, I just feel a need to always prove that I’m self sufficient (which is a big lie!). I never want to be perceived as needy, overly dependent or imposing on someone. It’s the same with many of us who find it hard to accept help…maybe even you!
Of course, I knew this wasn’t great and I’ve actually been working on it. However, working on something doesn’t mean you’re there yet. So you can imagine my utter dismay when I suddenly had to ask for help to do almost every single thing I needed to do for two whole months.
It felt like being thrown in to write the main exam for a course after attending just one class. It was horrible.
“What happened?” you ask? Well, I broke my leg.
I was going down the stairs one day, I slipped, and bam!!! I couldn’t move. My friends actually thought I was joking when I said I couldn’t stand up. On some level, I thought my leg was playing games with me too but it was definitely real. By the next day, I was in a cast…and I had to wear the cast for two whole months. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t go anywhere. I was basically stuck to my bed (apart from the occasional hops to the bathroom). It was destabilizing to say the least. I already mentioned how I don’t like asking people to do stuff for me.
Now that I think about it, I think one of the reasons is that I like my things to be done a certain way. I like my bed to be laid a certain way. I like my clothes to be arranged a certain way. I like my room cleaned a certain way and I just like my stuff to be a certain way. However, when you’re not doing these yourself or paying someone to do it, you can’t call the shots. There’s also the part where it just feels like you’re burdening the people around you. I call out to someone and say “Hey please help me get water” The person says “Uhm okay” but what I hear in my head is “Ugh nawa ooo. I’m not even in the mood to go anywhere. If I don’t help you now, it’ll be as if I’m wicked. Let me just go. Ugh!” 😂😂😂
Today, I’ll be sharing some tips on how I got through this very trying period and I truly hope they help you too.
- Ask correctly.
Many times, because you’re not used to asking people for help, you end up doing it wrongly by guilt-tripping them for instance or attempting to generate “pity”. That’s not okay. Ask directly and nicely and show your gratitude afterwards.
- Know that accepting help is not a sign of weakness.
It just means you’re strong enough to stand alone but you’re also smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it. Know this, repeat it, sing it and internalise it.
- Have a support system.
It’s important to have people that you can readily ask for help whenever you need it. If you’re going through a particularly tough period, let them in. Don’t hide it. You can also ask them if it’s okay for you to count on their help or support in that time just to be sure you are not imposing, which brings me to my next point…
- Don’t underestimate people’s willingness to help.
People are actually happy to help. As much as I felt like I was irritating people by asking them to do stuff, I realized in those two months that people are actually happy to help. A lot of my friends came to visit me. Some even stayed for some time and all they wanted to know was “How can I help? What can I do?”
- Pick up on cues…
Is this person reluctant to help or is the person very willing? And no, don’t make stuff up in your head. If the person is truly reluctant, it’s okay to not impose on them, especially if you can ask someone else.
- Ask the right people.
Figure out to the best person that can help and ask them for help.
- Accept that things cannot ALWAYS go your way.
As much as I like things to be done the way I like, I learnt that no matter how much I try to be in control, things can’t go my way all the time.
- Giving and receiving is actually sweet.
I thought about all the times I’ve done stuff for people and how good it made me feel. Life will be one kain if you’re the only one always giving or the only one always receiving. Give people a chance to help you the way you help them. It actually makes them happy.
- Accept that you can never be fully dependent on only yourself.
No matter how self-sufficient you think you are, you cannot go through life without ever needing anybody else. There’ll always come a time where you cannot do everything yourself. Know this and know peace.
I guess one thing I can say is that after those trying two months, I came out on the other side a better person😁On that note, if you have 5 million that you’re not using, please gimme. I need a vacation. Did I take it too far? Haha sorry. I’m just applying my new found braveness to ask.
Remember! People want to help you. All you need to do is ask.
Do you have trouble asking for help? Tell me why you find it hard in the comments section and be sure to let me know if these tips help.
Tomi of Lagos