Do you cringe when you have to utter the words, “help me”? Most people do. What is it about those two words that makes you and me feel weak and helpless?
From early on in our lives, we all do our best to assert our independence. That’s why there are funny stories of kids saying variations of “I’ll do it myself!” But, occasionally, we break from our rugged independence and ask for help and it’s then that some important changes happen in us and with the person whom we’ve asked.
My Toddler Needed Help
My youngest daughter, Selah, will turn 2 in August and lately it seems like she’s racing to grow up. It could be that she wants to catch up to her big brother and big sister. It could also be that she’s testing her boundaries and what she’s capable of.
Recently, my family and I went for a visit to my in-laws and soon after we arrived Selah found a toy that she wanted to play with. She came running (more like waddling) into the living room with her toy where I was sitting in a very comfortable recliner.
Lately, Selah has been able to climb up on more and more pieces of furniture. However, this particular recliner sits up higher than any of the other furniture and it was just a little too difficult for her to climb. That’s when she looked up at me and said those all important words…
Of course I was happy to help her off the ground and into my lap so that she could play with her toy. It was after helping her up that I became aware that lately she was asking for help more often. But, she was also very quick to let you know when she had the situation under control.
How Asking For Help Will Improve Your Life
After thinking about my interaction with Selah, I came to three conclusions about asking for help that will improve your life and mine. My hope is that these reasons will outweigh the fear or negative emotions you feel about asking for help and will encourage you do ask for it more often in the future.
Asking shows that you have humility.
Most people want to help others, but often don’t know how or they are put off by a person’s character or attitude. However, by asking for help, you can eliminate both of those obstacles to getting the help you need.
By asking another for help, you will show that you are brave enough to admit when you’ve reached a limitation. And, if you are willing to admit that, then you become a person that is attractive to help. Also, when you ask for help, you have given the other person the exact information they need to know how to help you.
Both of these increase the likely you will get the help you need.
Asking builds trust
This occurs in two ways; whoever you ask will build trust with you by coming through when you need them (and who doesn’t want to know that they can count on someone?!), and it also builds trust in the other person for you. Let me explain…
When my daughter asks for my help, I know that she actually needs it in that moment. It is because of that fact that I can trust her with whatever she is doing because I know if it gets too hard that I will hear her sweet voice say, “help me!”
Asking deepens relationships
This reason is more of an end result of the first two reasons, but it bears mentioning. Healthy relationships are built on many characteristics, but humility and trust are two of the most important.
Think of your closest and best friend. Do you know that you can call them at 2 o’clock in the morning for help and that they would come running? Probably so. Do either of you put the other down trying to feel better about yourselves? My guess is no.
Because my daughter was willing to ask me for help, we both got to experience a wonderful moment with each other that otherwise would not have happened.
And at the end of your life, will you want people to remember that you never needed (truthfully, never asked) for help or that, because of your humility, they got to enjoy a close relationship, wonderful moments, and a fulfilling life with you?
[reminder]Think of a time when you asked for help. What did it do for your relationship with that person?[/reminder]