To round out Mental Health Awareness month, I thought I’d talk about one of my biggest challenges (mentally, financially, etc.). Not unlike many people, I have a really hard time asking for help, even when it has been previously offered or received. At times, this has cost me a lot. It has cost me relationships, friendships, and plenty of money. There have been moments I didn’t ask for help and took out a loan instead. Why?
I’d like to say it is pride getting the best of me, but there are probably a lot of reasons I don’t ask for help. One of the biggest is that I’m certain other people will let me down or I’ll let them down in some way. If I do it alone, no one can be disappointed with me but me. There are some other reasons you might have trouble asking for help.
Why You Feel Like You Have To Do It Alone
First, people who are overgivers often have a difficult time asking for help. Because they focus on giving so often, they don’t always know how to accept help. You may also be codependent, which has been a large part of my problem. A lot of my own self worth has been tied up with what people think of me. So, I spend time taking care of other people instead of tending to my own needs. People ask me for help, I say yes. When it comes time for me to ask for help, on the other hand, it is nearly impossible.
It is also possible that you are trapped in a victim mindset. Maybe you’ve had bad luck in the past, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Don’t stay in the mindset that you are alone and have to handle everything alone. Counterdependency is also problem. It is the opposite of codependency. These people often say things like “I don’t need anyone or I can do it myself.” At times, this may make you seem strong and stable, but you often feel lonely and have no real connections in the world.
Trust, self-esteem, and intimacy issues have all contributed to my own personal difficulty with asking for help. Some people truly believe they need to suffer and others are beaten down by their inner critic. Whatever the case may be, it is okay to ask for help. In fact, you should do it more often.
You Should Ask For Help More Often, Here’s Why…
Generally speaking, people are reluctant to offer unasked help. They don’t want to potentially offend you by offering and it can create an awkward situation. So, if you truly need help, you won’t get it unless you ask. You won’t come off as needy and it won’t harm your relationship. In fact, asking for help has actually been shown to strengthen relationships.
So, next time you’re down on your luck, remember that you can ask for help. Give yourself some grace! I’ll try to remember that too.
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Amanda is an editor and writer. She has a passion for sharing information that helps people and communities to better themselves in some way. In addition to writing online, she also freelances for local newspapers in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.