On Asking For Help

It’s not an easy thing, to ask for help.

It’s one thing if you’re perfectly capable yourself, but for whatever reason it would be easier to have assistance, like changing a tire, or picking out a funeral arrangement.

It’s all right if there’s an exchange of some sort; a favor, a payment, a quid pro quo of any kind, even if it’s just in mutual regard.

But when you’re asking for something you need, you can’t get by yourself, and you have no recourse but privation, it’s a formidable request.

You fear pity, the loss of respect in the eyes of your deliverer, the loss of your self-sufficient image, and most of all, you fear being turned away.

This never gets easier, my pets.

I read something very profound in the unlikeliest of all places, a business book by Keith Ferrazzi titled, “Never Eat Alone,” a popular work on networking. He talks about asking for help.

“You’ve got to be more than willing to accept generosity. Often, you’ve got to go out and ask for it.”

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we never had to articulate our needs or our desires, never had to be that vulnerable, that exposed?

That’s never going to happen, either.

I’m learning this vulnerability myself. It’s fucking hard. It’s scary as all hell. My heart beats madly and I feel light-headed, and I grit my teeth and do it anyway, because that’s the way it’s got to be.

I’m not a diamond, impentrable and cold. I’m not Damascene steel, resilient, but still prone to shattering. I must be the reed, and humble myself in order to grow.

Of course, the only reason that it’s hard is the pernicious feeling that we are somehow less-than, and that asking for help simply exposes the fact for all to see.

And that’s why I’m working on it. Because I won’t be less-than, dammit. And if asking for help, speaking up about my needs, my desires, and my comforts is what it takes to convince myself of that fact, I’ll do it.

[ssbp]

2 thoughts on “On Asking For Help”

  1. Love this post. This is absolutely one of the hardest things for me as well. I dislike feeling vulnerable like that, but asking for help can be really powerful. I’m going to try to follow your lead on this one and see where it goes.

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