A Friday Thought to Chew On: Welcoming a Helping Hand

A Friday Thought to Chew On: Welcoming a Helping Hand

Some people consider “help” as unsavory a four-letter word as those other more colorful and in some cases, alliterative four-letter cohorts. As an only child, I’ve always considered myself self-sufficient and will admit that I have probably regarded accepting help with a grimace rather than a grin on many occasions. To some of us, even the act of accepting a helping hand can feel like…well… defeat. Incompetence. Failure. And if like me, you suffer from a bad case of fear of failure, then you know precisely what I’m talking about.

I pondered about this after a recent conversation I had with a friend who kept offering one helpful suggestion after another about some PC trouble I was sharing. I didn’t try to shoot down every one of them but I certainly didn’t embrace the ideas which were offered with sincerity and totally good intentions. I wondered to myself later when I was alone, what’s wrong with me? Here was someone trying to be helpful but I was insistent on continuing to whine instead and do nothing about it.

It was as if I felt bound to dealing with it on my own, which was how I typically chose to face a lot of my household challenges or  professional conundrums. Why? Because it’s what I am used to, I suppose. But just because I’ve always felt compelled to face things head on myself doesn’t mean it has been the wisest thing to do nor does it mean I had to do so. I think sometimes we can get single-minded and operate as we always have because that’s all we know and accepting another person’s suggestions might make us feel as if we couldn’t figure it out on our own. Irrational, I know, but no one said each thought that ekes out of this overtaxed brain of mine makes sense.

When I finally do call on an “expert” to help me, it usually means that even cocky, know-it-all me has finally acknowledged defeat. So I called an onsite PC repair place this morning about my old laptop, spurred on by the urging of my kind and well-meaning friend. I guess today I formally waved my white flag. But why I waited, um… let’s see… nearly 10 months to do anything about this issue (yes, I really did wait THAT long) is just more proof of my stubbornness.

I need to learn to see an acceptance of help as not an admission of anything else but a desire to get some resolution. It’s hard not to equate it as something more reflective of what I cannot do. But I suppose admitting this to myself  — and to anyone who might read this— is a good first step to stop doing this subtle form of self-sabotage. If I think of how many other things I do nothing about for this same reason, I’d spin myself into a tornado of self-flogging. I welcome thoughts from any others who might share in this difficulty accepting help from others and your strategies to mentally overcome your conflict about letting others help.

Maybe there should be a self-help course for those who struggle to accept help from others. Of course, this may defeat the purpose. Hmm. The good news is I may finally see my files again from the past 6 years, so that’s something worth celebrating. (Yea!) Happy weekend, folks. ~ Chris

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