#thepersonalside: Asking and Accepting Help

#the personalside: Asking and Accepting Help

How hard (or easy) do you make it for other people to help you? Do your friends and family know when you do (or don’t) want (or need) help? Are you too independent (or too needy)? How much do you project your own attitudes towards asking and receiving help onto the people closest to you? ~ The Journal

These questions can get quite intricate with some people. And the rationale for each of those people may be different. I am one of those “some people”.

When it comes to my disability, I assume most people can visually see when I need help. I mean, I have one arm and hand that have negligible use in my daily life. I have one leg and foot that are impaired to the point where I use a cane when I am out and about. Few people pay enough attention to see when I am faltering. Their minds are on their own business, after all. I flinch when I know I am going to have to ask for assistance. Eventually, I do bite the bullet and make the request but I feel remorse every time I have to ask. Friends and family tell me I should not feel this way, and, yes, they are right. Still, that feeling of self-reproach comes over me. I wonder what I am taking the person from in order to help me. Could it have been something crucial? Also, I ask myself why I do not try a little harder to help myself. Maybe I am not patient enough with whatever I am trying to do.

I am this way with my writing too.

I know I need help with some of my writing. Maybe I need help with all of it and am just deluding myself. Whatever the case, I usually flee from help, suggestions, and advice. That is unless I come across the material on my own. The avoidance is all because I feel I should know more about the field but fall way short due to not paying close enough attention in school. My English class came easily to me so I never did put the effort in that would have launched an early career as a writer. As long as I was getting A’s, I did not give it a second thought. Now that I want to embark onto this field as a senior citizen, I am facing numerous struggles I should have taken care of long ago. Asking for help is my only way of getting the information I need but I feel the grip of shame every time I request assistance.

Is it obvious to you that I am an independent soul? Much of it is adhered to my basic personality. However, some of my self-sufficiency is due to how I was raised. Neither of my parents sat with me while I did my homework. As far as they were concerned, it was my homework so my responsibility. I agreed with them and still do to this day. The chores I had were strictly mine. It was my room so it was my responsibility to keep it clean. I used the bathroom as much as anyone else in the family so I should willingly take my turn to clean it. There were other chores too and they were mine with the same logic behind them.


Asking for help and receiving it without a red face is usually a bitter pill for me to swallow. Nevertheless, I do it when required so I can learn what I need to know.

“The barrier during self-improvement is not so much that we hate learning, rather we hate being taught. To learn entails that the knowledge was achieved on one’s own accord – it feels great – but to be taught often leaves a feeling of inferiority. Thus it takes a bit of determination and a lot of humility in order for one to fully develop.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy


19 thoughts on “#thepersonalside: Asking and Accepting Help

  1. I’m not a huge fan of asking for help even if I need it. I’ve always been a big believer in doing things for myself, and want to be able to say I did it independently. With writing, I feel like it is only something that I can do and no many how many opinions others offer me, the only opinion that feels right is the opinion that comes naturally to me from within me – as and when that happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I must agree our own opinions are the ones that should matter. Still, I lack self-confidence so, therefore, am always looking for that elusive approval. In writing, being myself in the process, I take bits and pieces of other authors, combining them in hopes of making a better me. This sometimes requires asking questions, which takes a lot out of me for some unknown reason.


      1. I think when we ask questions, we reflect on ourselves and ask ourselves how we can be better at what we do – and that’s one way to tell ourselves we aren’t perfect…and perhaps our ego gets hit. I think you are very open-minded taking different ideas and trying to come up with better ones that speak to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t ask for help often either when it comes to most things, but I do make use of writing groups and critique partners on a regular basis. Taking a lot of writing workshops in college was the best thing I ever did. Part of such help is learning how to give it. A writer learns much more by critiquing someone’s work than getting their own stuff critiqued. The more we hone our craft and share our work, the better we get at separating helpful advice for the not-so-helpful. When writers say they don’t share their work because others won’t get it, I about have a heart attack. The communication of writing is a two-way street. If enough readers don’t “get it” that’s a sure sign revising is in order before publication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeri, I have yet to get far enough along so that a critique is required. Still, I scout around for a critique partner so when that moment comes, I can give as well as get.

      I should be doing more reviews over at Writing.Com so I am ready for the more personal critiques.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glynis, I think there’s a difference between asking for assistance when dearly needed – like when your disabilities put you perhaps in harm’s way or in a precarious situation – and being too lazy to do your share – which you obviously never do. With regard to writing, everyone should request feedback and assistance because that’s a valid tool to improving your craft. Two strategies you might consider: joining or starting a local writer’s critique group which is especially valuable for work in progress; and paying for professional editorial services once a manuscript is complete. I think both tracks are essential to writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right. When it comes to my disability, I do as much for myself as possible. I am so much this way I have a tendency to drive my husband bonkers sometimes.

      As for writing, I have already looked into editors for my work once I have something done. However, a writing group of any kind in this local area would never happen. Even the library is a lonely place. I do belong to an online writing group though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pride…. isnt it one of the seven deadly sins? I am guilty of it… asking for help as hard, and graciously accepting help offered without asking is even harder…… But funny enough at the drop of a hat I am always ready to help someone who asks me if its within my power without any reservation if I was someone else I think I would ask me for help hahahaha I guess its easier to solve someone else’s problems than yourself physician heal thyself


    1. Yes, I must admit the hesitation to ask comes from pride. What if the person declines to help? Then I am stuck with the shame of asking. You see, when I ask and the person agrees to help, all shame and fear depart from me. But if the person says no for some reason, I am still wrestling with those awful feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just remembered a scene from a horror movie I watched Drag Me To Hell an old lady’s house is getting foreclosed and she goes to the bank to ask for an extension or some sort of arrangement….
        The lady who handles her case politely declines and says there’s nothing they can do and the old lady, says something along the lines of “I am a proud woman I have never begged for anything in my life but I will start now…” and she goes on her knees and starts begging and the bank lady calls security……..
        The old lady has this shocked expression like I begged for help… and and you shamed me
        Its pretty hectic to watch….. well and then curses the bank lady and it becomes like any other horror movie…


        Liked by 1 person

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