Reader Question from Regina: “How do you know when to ask for help?”
Regina also wrote, “Sometimes things happen that just overwhelm and if you find yourself in over your head, there is no shame in asking for help.”
Don’t wait until you’re drowning
We aren’t meant to go through life alone or handle things on our own. And you are correct Regina; there is no shame in asking for help. Sadly, I think the current culture has made it more difficult to ask for help.
In my day, everyone was home more often, outside playing, or socializing with the neighbors. Now, the times of communal living have dwindled compared to “back when.” (Although, with the current economy, those times are making a comeback.) I don’t think I need to go into detail as to why, but if you need a little reminder, many homes require both parents to work to make ends meet.
I remember back when—we (the kids) were outside playing, and one of the kids got hurt. Let’s call him Billy. Some of us ran and got Billy’s mom. Others ran home to tell their mom while others stayed with Billy. Can you guess what those moms did? They physically walked (ran) over to see if they could help. It was somewhat automatic, a normal occurrence if you will.
Our neighborhoods used to be more communal, and family like. If people didn’t like each other or get along, you didn’t move. You just didn’t hang out. But if one of the kids got hurt or someone went into the hospital, neighbors were there whether they liked you or not.
Many people, like Regina, by nature, have trouble asking for help or knowing when to ask for help. Being a part of a neighborhood that is communal allows us to notice when others need help even when they don’t ask. When the other moms walked over to see if Billy was okay, they were able to see that Billy’s mom needed help by noticing her body language. Today, text (and social media) is the form of communication used most. If you text, you can’t see body language.
By the way, Billy broke his arm.
Don’t be afraid
Some of you may be thinking, “I’ve asked for help before but no one came.” I too have asked for help in the past and no one showed up. Keep asking. There’s a certain personality type that feels valuable when someone needs them. As long as you don’t abuse it, find the person with that personality type and ask.
Does asking for help put you out of your comfort zone? Maybe.
Does it cause you to question whether or not you really need help? Possibly.
Are you worried that people might call you needy? They might. (So just don’t ask for help too often.)
But, if you have a “blink” that tells you that you need help, call someone or walk to a neighbors house.
Oh, what’s a blink you ask? A blink is a thought that comes into your head first and for a split second, “in the blink of an eye.” So if the phrase, “I need help,” pops into your head, ask for help.
When to ask for help?
You don’t have to be dying or in need of medical attention to ask for help.
Are you overwhelmed and just need to chat with a friend?
Are you struggling with a situation and want to bounce it off of someone else?
Are you upset and angry about something?
Do you need a ride home from the repair shop?
Do you need to get into a heavy box on the top shelf of the garage?
A-S-K for help.
Since many of our friends are online or not living right next door, we have to get brave. We have to pick up a phone and call someone. What’s the worst that could happen? The person could say no. So what? Move on to someone else. If you keep asking different people, eventually, you’ll find friends who are the yin to your yang.
It’s O.K.! I give you permission.
Blessings and Peace,