Out of fear it inconveniences another (I’m guessing at one time, before I knew how to speak up for myself, I must have felt inconvenienced and unable to say ‘no’), I’ve avoided the ‘H’ word for years.
Until this year.
This year, my husband and I had work schedules that necessitated adaptation. I was forced to see if a friend could pick up my son from school. Not long after, I absolutely had to figure out a morning drop-off plan that didn’t require him or me to be there.
I’m used to relying on family for help. I know they don’t mind and would tell me ‘no’ if it didn’t work. However, they were thousands of miles away and one afternoon didn’t warrant a trip.
The sense of dread I felt before asking was proportionate with the immense sense of relief I had after these friends said, “sure, no problem.”
And, I knew I would have said the same.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity to reciprocate their favor. If I don’t get to repay them, I’ll repay by saying “Sure, no problem” to others…in their honor.
Whether it’s culture, family programming, or pure pride — many Americans are missing out on this beautiful gift of connection that comes from asking for, receiving, and giving help. It’s one of the most valuable gifts we can give and receive and it doesn’t cost a thing.
As I said to my friend who was the first person I asked for help, “I feel like this has taken our friendship to a whole new level.” And, it’s true. That’s what it does to a friendship. The asking of help signifies a deeper level of trust and vulnerability. It says, “You are a friend I can rely on and be transparent that I can’t do this all on my own. And, I choose you — I choose you to know that.”
I’m grateful necessity pushed me to do something out of character. What I found at the end of “Will you help me?” surprised me, softened me, and awakened me to an undercurrent of service and kindness that is ever-present but rarely tapped.
Is there something you’re trying to do solo that would be much easier/better/more enjoyable if you asked for help?