The ‘Compliment Cure’
How often do you hear yourself say or perhaps even say to others that you don’t want to ask anyone for help because you don’t want to burden them? Or you don’t want to lean on anybody because you don’t want to be a burden.
This concern is probably one of the statements I hear with the greatest frequency in my psychotherapy practice. Finding it hard to ask for help (of any kind) is just another one of life’s interesting paradoxes.
Stop and think about asking for help from this perspective.
Has anyone ever asked you to listen to their problems?
What was your emotional reaction when you were asked?
Did you like that you were being sought out?
Did you feel like your opinion might be important?
Did you feel like the person valued you?
Or valued your friendship? And respected you?
Once you offered your physical help (assisted with a move, babysitting, running an errand) or listened and offered your guidance or advice, did you feel closer to that acquaintance, friend or family member, or did it seem that that person felt closer to you?
If your experience of being sought out was generally positive – and most of us do have that experience when others genuinely want our opinion or perspective – then it likely felt like a compliment to “be there” for your friend or family member.
Being sought out for help values you and values the friendship.
Being asked to help someone compliments you.
Being sought out creates more emotional closeness with the person who asked for your help.
So, if you are complimented by others asking you for help . . .
What makes you think you won’t compliment others when you ask for help?
It’s the ‘Compliment Cure’.
Stop depriving yourself and others.
Let the people in your life enjoy the compliment of you.
I do have difficulty asking for help. And I have often thought about it in the perspective you mentioned above – that when someone asks me for help I don’t find it burdensome. I hadn’t thought about how asking for help actually brings me closer to someone or someone to me. I will think on that more. Thank you.