In last weeks blog post, I highlighted a number of guidelines that can help you gauge a healthy relationship. These guidelines are meaningful whether they are applied to an intimate relationship or friendships.
One of the patterns I have observed over and over regardless of relationship, is the reluctance to ask for help.
Many people refuse to ask because they don’t like putting themselves in the position of feeling vulnerable and then being disappointed when that help is not forthcoming. Or maybe they believe their concerns would be too burdensome for others.
Which begs the question, do you feel like a burden to others when you ask for help?
Perhaps you find it very uncomfortable to ask for help, believing that if you make a request of others then you are “asking too much”, that your request is burdensome or that you are a burden.
More often than not, people tell me that they don’t want to lean on anybody or ask for help because they don’t want to burden anyone with their troubles.
How often do you feel either way?
Though it may seem paradoxical, the U.S. military, thought of as a symbol of strength, offers a great analogy for dealing with feelings, vulnerability, and asking for help simultaneously.
At the outset of any military campaign in a new region, the planners and strategists consider all points of vulnerability and weakness.
Once they have identified the areas where they lack readiness to deal with perceived threats, they arrange for assistance to supplement their existing resources and strength. They might bring in engineers, crisis teams, special forces, reconnaissance teams, or infantry for extra support.
Interesting, isn’t it?
The act of identifying deficits and admitting “weakness” is what allows them to become considerably stronger – but only if they take action to address those potential vulnerabilities.
This is also true for you as an individual.
As you move forward in your growth, it is important to keep in mind the following three truths:
1. Asking for help is not a burden.
2. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of humanness!
3. Asking for help strengthens you and adds to your emotional resources.
4. Asking for help compliments the listener and leads to your friends valuing you and your friendship more highly.
“Asking for help is one way you turn your vulnerability
into emotional strength and confidence.”
You are not burdening the other person; in the process of asking, you’re acknowledging their importance to you.
Asking for help is really a compliment to others. Holding this perspective enables you to ask for what you truly need.
Additionally, when you ask for help, not only do you feel more resourceful, your connections with others are deepened.
Heading into this next week, think about your needs more fully. Notice whether asking for help might make a big difference in how you are feeling.
Consider taking the risk to ask for help and see what happens.