What does it say about us when we ask for help? Do we give the impression of strength or weakness? Confidence or insecurity? Awareness or cluelessness?
A matter of perspective
Interestingly, it seems that our perception depends upon whether we’re the one making the request or the one giving assistance.
Unfortunately, too many of us feel that admitting that we need help are signs of weakness, a lack of confidence, cluelessness and ineptitude. That’s not how we’re perceived by others.
People receiving a request for assistance are usually flattered by the request. The fact that you’re requesting their help gives them a sense of worth, of value, which enables them to feel good about themselves.
These good feelings have the effect of creating good feelings about you…assuming you’re not seeking help for the same issue over and over again. They perceive you as someone who’s honest with themselves about what they’re good at and where they need help…which is another way of saying that you’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
They see you as someone who realizes that no one comes with the complete package…that we all need help from time to time. They admire your strength and confidence because it takes both to ask for help. They know from personal experience that admitting vulnerabilities is difficult…until you’ve done it a few times and realized that it enhances others’ perception of you rather than diminishing it.
Now that you’ve had a chance to reflect on your feelings, both as someone who has requested help and provided assistance, you know that what I’ve described above is accurate. The next time you need help remind yourself of these experiences and the feelings associated with them. It’ll make it easier for you to ask for the help you need, in part, because you know that you’re helping others feel good about themselves.
For our kids
Periodically ask your kids for help, then ask them how it made them feel when you asked. When they ask for help, from you or anyone else, congratulate them on having the strength and confidence to make the request. Let them know that no one comes with the complete package and that we all need help from time to time.
You’ll find them becoming more confident, stronger and more willing to help others…in other words, a person who enjoys life and in whom you can justifiably be proud.