I Must Confess…I don’t like asking for help

If you’ve taken the time to read through any of my posts here, this confession will probably not come as any sort of surprise.

I really don’t like asking others for help.

Call me stubborn or overly-ambitious or unrealistic. But I really hate having to seek help.

It comes down to a few factors:

  1. I really don’t like approaching someone else to admit that I can’t do it all. It’s not due to arrogance on my part. I just believe that I’m responsible for my choices and it grates on me when I can’t follow through on my commitments.
  2. I really, really dislike the idea of troubling other people. I would rather keep on struggling than potentially inconvenience them in order to not inconvenience me.
  3. Above all, I’ve never been good at being rejected. So I would rather not ask the question at all than take the chance that once asked, someone might say no to my request for help.

I must confess...I don't like asking for help

Rationally, I know all these are ridiculous things to fear.

Aren’t they?

They really are all silly concerns but these do factor into why I’ve never been one to immediately ask for assistance once I’ve run into trouble.

My recent incapacitation, before and after knee surgery, just served to reinforce how silly these lifelong beliefs really are. I clearly could not function without the use of my right knee. I could not drive or walk or even get around my own house.

I had to rely on my mother to get me to appointments; to undertake the school run and to do household chores, particularly in the first couple of weeks following surgery.

I also had to learn to ask for, and accept, help from my friends who assisted with after school commitments, came to visit me at home to relieve my boredom and were there to give me both tangible and intangible support.

I must confess I felt so bad having to call on Mum for help. In addition to all the reasons listed above, there was an even bigger one holding me back.

The recent death of my father.

Dad had only been gone 5 weeks at that stage. I was sure that, amid her grief, looking after me would be the very last thing that my mother would want to do. But I had no choice – I had to ask her, although I really wish I didn’t have to.

As it turns out, she was more than happy to be busy and occupied in those first weeks. It helped distract her through the initial stage of grief. In the end she thanked me for helping HER out, when I know it was more the other way around.

The whole experience did reassure me that asking for help doesn’t mean the end of the world. I’ve even learned to lean on one of my friends for help with the kids, something that I have never previously thought of doing. I still have a long way to go but, maybe, I will learn to ask for help more often in future.

Because despite my fears, asking for help is not a sign of weakness, nor a guaranteed inconvenience for others nor likely to be answered by a big fat no.

Do you ask for help? Or are you more like me, still learning that it’s okay to seek assistance?

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I Must Confess

– I Must Confess is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for the whole week.

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10 Responses

  1. I’m not great at asking for help either (unless it involves hubby), especially when we are so far away from family. It is usually last resort when I eventually get around to asking for help and it never goes well. Something that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately with hubby away so often and things going pear shaped more than they should when he is away. Moving 22 times across the country hasn’t helped because I’m always the new one on the block and haven’t had time to build up or find friendships where I feel comfortable asking for help. Mind you I’m always first to put my hand up to help someone else.
    Raych aka Mystery Case recently posted..Event Ready with Fresh Flowers

  2. I have always hated asking for help – I actually feel guilty. Yet I am the first to put my hand up and help others – what does that make me a martyr
    Natalie @ OurParallelConnection recently posted..The Perfect Mum

  3. cate says:

    I was a single parent for many of my early parenting years, it took a long time in our early marriage to ask for help. Now I just tell him to do it, haha!
    cate recently posted..Hello Monday

  4. Ness says:

    I’m sort of in-between. Sometimes I ask for help and graciously accept it, but others times I don’t especially when I’m sick. I’ve had a terrible cold and sore throat for a couple of weeks now and rarely complain. Seems to be a typical female thing. Sigh.
    Ness recently posted..Marriage: 20th Anniversary Edition!

  5. I am a shocker for asking for help and always feels so bad about it yet I am always happy to be the one asked. The thing I guess I forget is that the others around also like to help and that I can’t do everything.
    Anne@GritandGiggles recently posted..Up High … Again

  6. I must learn to ask for help more Kirsty! I hate feeling inadequate or unable – especially when lifting something heavy or trying to do a physical activity. I like to think I am strong and have the girlpower!! Sorry to hear about your recent loss xx
    Ashlea @ Glamour Coastal Living recently posted..Feature Friday: Tropical Modern Home in Auckland

  7. I am always the first one to help others in need, but like you I find it super hard to admit I need help myself. I think it comes down to admitting I can’t do it all. It’s not because I’m arrogant either, I’ve always been the one in my family who held everything together so I always felt like I wasn’t allowed to admit I can’t do that. Plus the few times I have asked for help I’m usually let down {by family} so I figure its easier to do things for myself. I’m glad you got the help from your mum and you probably did do her a world of good by distracting her from her own grief.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..Love to Dream Nuzzlin Sleep Bag review + giveaway

  8. Yup, I resist too – mainly for the second reason that you’ve listed – I hate troubling other people. However, a wise soul once explained to me that when we stubbornly resist and refuse help, we are preventing others from having the joy of giving and serving! Food for thought. Miss Nearly 19 has been amazed at how we dropped everything to be with her in hospital when she sliced the tendons in her hand at ice skating, and have looked after her since – even though she doesn’t live at home, she’s been spending a lot of time here rather than being on her own, and I’ve been taking her to all her follow up appointments. So I can say with confidence that your mother definitely doesn’t mind – it’s what mothers do. Mother love is very strong!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Swastika Jewellery

  9. I hear you! I think though it’s important for both of us to slowly shed that fear and start asking for help. What’s the worst? People will say they can’t do it and give a valid reason. I need to trust others more as well I think.
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life recently posted..Asking for help

  10. Zita says:

    I think it depends on what the help is that is needed. I think we (as a society) need to be better at asking for help when we are not ok emotionally/mentally and we need to make it clear that asking for help is ok as well. This is different than asking for help to pick the kids up from school which we fear may be an inconvenience. I am sure your Mum was more than happy to help and feel useful during your time of need. If she’s anything like my parents are with their Grandkids, she would have loved and cherished the time she got to spend with them.
    Am glad you are on the mend now though!
    Zita recently posted..for Melbourne Cup in Perth

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