I conducted an experiment on Facebook about asking for help. What goes on for you?
I conducted an interesting (it was at least interesting to me into a number of other people) experiment on Facebook over a few day period. It started off with a question, "What is so hard about saying,' I need help to someone who can help you?' I think that's a pretty simple question, but here are some of the responses:
"I'm not sure what the circumstances were that you are referring to but maybe, just maybe, the person was maligned and abused the last time they asked for help."
"I feel like the more help I need the harder it is to ask."
"Even harder for men. My wife is trying to get me to ask for directions when we are lost."
"Maybe those who need us the most want us to just help them.
"Stupidity, plain and simple." Stupidity was my answer
"it exposes the answer I tell myself, true or not, that there is something wrong with me."
I want to go into question number 2 because, obviously, because there is the perception that something is faulty with the person who asks for help that seems to be ingrained in our culture. That's generally what is happening.
People didn't ask for help because of pride, ego, they felt stupid and other reasons that keep them from getting the help that they need.
How do you feel when you ask for help? This is interesting! Among the answers were:
"Fearful, may be desperate."
"Oh, G-d! When I was younger I knew everything I didn't think I needed any help. WRONG! Now that I'm an elder. I know that there are those who are wiser than me and can ask for their help."
"Weak. I should know it all and be able to do it all."
DING DING! DING! DING DING! I think that's the real thing.
"Humble and helpful." There were few of these in there that I thought were interesting.
"What a great question! At the depth I feel vulnerable and incompetent. I think we have this conflict that goes on within us."
I think this summarizes it very well. A woman named Judy said, "it's like I'm not worthy and time inconveniencing someone."
It's as though we screwed up or are defective in some way. We might be rebuked. There are some people who might feel hopeful and that's wonderful but the vast majority don't have that sort of reaction. The result is that many of us live a particular way, frustrated, disappointed.
How do you win? We don't know everything. We don't know what to do all the time. We do make mistakes and screw up. As a result, we don't do things to make it easy for ourselves.
Easy is an interesting word in this context because, obviously, if you're asking for help (judging by the reactions I 1st spoke about – – fearful, scared, defective, stupid), it is not so easy. Shouldn't it just be easy to look at someone and say, "I ask you something for a second?" If they say,, "no, it's not a good time right now," you can always ask what it might be a good time. That's what usually happens, right? Emotionally, we get caught up in this turmoil.
I love you to take a little bit of time to reflect on this for yourself and just think about what the impact is not asking for help and how that has worked for you and not work for you. Worked for you in the way of feeling more capable than you really are. I admit it. I am incompetent at a lot of things, far more than I'd like to admit. But I know I am incompetent at a lot of stuff.
I would love you to consider that once you've admit it is far easier for yourself, it is far easier to receive that help an act without it.
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