Giving and receiving
The importance of asking for help
Good morning. How are we?
In a previous newsletter, I wrote how people are all that we’ve got and recovery from difficult life experiences is possible through connection with community. But in our individualistic society reaching out to friends, family, neighbours or colleagues for help can be difficult. Leaning on others is a vulnerable act, as we fear being a burden or asking for too much. It also opens up the risk of being rejected.
With those closest to us, it may even feel frustrating to ask for help because if they knew or loved us enough we wouldn’t have to verbalise what it is we need, they should automatically know. But even the people we love the most aren't mind-readers, and we have to be able to find the language that allows for our needs to be met. Only with practice can we become fluent.
Over the past couple of years I have had to completely re-think my whole approach to asking others for support. The following quote about giving and receiving from Amoretta Morris who is a philanthropist and community builder, sums it up perfectly:
“It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, by doing so, you are taking part in the divine circle of giving and receiving. While we often focus on what the request means for the asker/recipient, we should remember that giving can be transformative for the helper… By not asking for help when you need it, you are blocking that flow”
It is just so true! Healthy, working relationships can’t be a one-way street, we have to find the place in ourselves that allows us to accept the kindness and guidance of others if it comes. On the other side, it can be so flattering for someone to ask us for genuine support or advice because they see the skills and capabilities that we possess. Do you have an example of someone coming to you for help and feeling touched or valued that they thought of you and trusted your opinion? I certainly have.
Perhaps you can test it out this week, with smaller things that could look like this:
“I can’t quite wrap my head around this part of the presentation, would you be able to spare some time this week to help me understand it a bit more?”
“The place we booked for dinner this Thursday isn’t that convenient for me to get to, would we be able to go somewhere more central to us both?”
“I really love that meal you cooked, could you show me how to make it?”
Although these requests seem trivial, it allows us to develop the language in asking for our needs to be met. Over time we may become more comfortable in the art of both giving and receiving.
Thanks so much for reading. Speak to you soon,
The newsletter is growing thanks to those who are sharing it (shout out Rob and the Let’s Do This crew). If you liked this post, feel free to share with others.
Subscribe to the newsletter below so you can get it in your inbox fortnightly.