Opinions

The Value in Asking for Help

I have always been the kind of person who hates asking for help. That is because most of my life I have done pretty well helping myself, and because of that I had learned that there is nothing I couldn’t figure out if I put my mind to it, no challenge I couldn’t overcome and no problem I couldn’t fix. It was an internalized lesson, one that largely occurred without realizing it, one bored in by experience. For an example, I have had to teach myself the English language, it was just me and books and unwavering effort in my part. I became this self-helping person out of necessity because of my situation, where I grew up and the conditions there. This affirmed to me the value of being independent.

Since then I have been helping a lot of people in my life. From broken computers, relationships, the craft of writing to education and much more. And each time a friend wanted to talk or fix problem I have been there. But each time I helped some people, and as I grew, I have had a sense that people asking for help where lazy, stupid and ridiculous, especially in circumstances where they could have fixed their problem with little effort. People like that made me irritable. I patronized and despised them. So the act of asking for help was disgusting in my eyes because I associated it with undesirable traits like laziness, stupidity and ridiculousness. I firmly believed that people should ask for help when they truly needed it, when they had no options left, otherwise they are being lazy, stupid and ridiculous and should be shot in the head.

It sounds intuitively right that people should ask for help when they really need it, but I have come to think this is absolutely wrong. I have asked for help, mostly when I had no options and each moment I would be embarrassed that I even asked for help. One such moment was when I needed to go to the hospital urgently because I was in debilitating pain, something that might have killed me if I had not, so I asked for help from a friend. Another time was when things got so bad I had complete meltdown and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. These are extreme circumstances, it is ridiculous to think that things should be so bad before one asks for help or assistance. Surely, things don’t have to go that far. I could have died. 

People should at least ask for help when the situation at hand starts taking a toll on their well-being. We all know when we are too stressed or struggling, these are perfect ground to ask for help. You don’t have to wait until there are no options but asking for help. So this week I did something I never do, I asked for help when I felt overwhelmed by work or stuck. The response I got was truly surprising and eye-opening. Many people where happy to help, some went beyond what I had asked of them and I made friends in the process. The result? I am lighter, calmer and stress free. I have realized humans are naturally altruistic, if not by their will it’s because society demands us to be or we rationally see the value in collaboration, either way it is magical.

Looking back at my life, I see the success and progress I might have had if I had learned when it was to ask for help, if I had just done what everyone else was doing around me. I don’t always have to be perfect, have it together or figured out. I have been ridiculously stupid, I have killed myself by thinking I could be. I wouldn’t have been in that hospital, I would have graduated early and my career would be miles ahead of where it is now.

Asking for help is a valid problem solving method. It is good for your health, your life, your career and the people win your life. It encourages unity, collaboration and facilitates growth.

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6 thoughts on “The Value in Asking for Help

  1. I have always had the mindset that asking for help makes you weak, never for others though, just for me. I always thought people ask for my help because their trials are waay bigger than my own. However, I have come to understand recently, that everyone’s trials are hard. While my trials might seem trivial to you, based on what I have experienced and known, they are exhausting to me. I only just recently learned that, so it’s still hard to ask for help. But what you say is true, it is natural for humans to be caring towards each other and help. I think that is because God intended for us to always have someone. Thank you for sharing! (= I definitely can always use the reminder that I don’t have to do everything alone!

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    1. I agree. It is so difficult, even when you know it okay, to remember to ask. It requires quite a bit effort and constant conditioning to be able to get to that point of ease I presume. I find it surprising that although you saw as asking for help as weak you never thoguht the same of others. Is it a case of setting different standards for yourself?

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      1. I guess the reason I never thought anyone else was weak for asking for help, is that I believed that their trials were much more difficult than my own. Because I compared problems, I never judged them when they asked for help, because I saw that they truly needed it. I never felt as if I ever truly needed it…mainly because I hate bothering people (=

        -Julie

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        1. I see. Makes sense. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing with me, Julie.
          I always had the sense that it was unfair to do that to ourselves, to compare problems, I’m surprised that I have met someone who had done it a bunch. It’s fascinating, and I guess for a while you thought it was completely justified.
          I am Sandy by the way, although I don’t mind Macxermillio.

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