Learning to express our needs and accept the help of others is just as important as giving ourselves to others. Instead of seeing it as a fragility, we must manage to do it naturally.
In our culture of Judeo-Christian roots, we have been educated to give. Religions teach to serve others and, when we enter the world of work, we are measured according to what we can contribute. As a doctor I heard at a recent conference said, “we are what we deliver.”
We give our time to our family and friends, to our clients or employers. We give our money to have a place to live, to pay bills, to maintain a certain lifestyle. In short, we give our vital energy according to what is expected of us and we assume it as something natural and necessary. When it comes to asking, on the other hand, all kinds of doubts and fears assail us. If we need something that we do not have, it is difficult for you to ask for it or we never even get to do it. Also on a personal level, many couples and friends break up because they did not know how to ask at the time, in an appropriate and respectful way, for what they needed. They often express it when it is too late and the relationship has turned into an exchange of blame. What is this dysfunction due to? Why is it so difficult for us to ask?
THE BEST WAY TO ASK FOR HELP
Like any other art, asking for help is something that takes practice and good judgment. Let’s see some aspects to keep in mind:
- Choose the occasion to order well. It is true that almost everyone likes to give, but a person who repeatedly asks for help ends up being burdensome and will be perceived as being taken advantage of or dependent. That is why we must choose well what we ask for and why we ask for it. It has to be a punctual help and not a habit. That is why the reason must be weighty.
- Make sure it is not something you can do yourself. For the help we receive to have a value that dignifies the other, it cannot be something within one’s reach that has not been done due to lack of time, disorganization or comfort. True collaboration happens between people who have different talents.
- Choose your donor well. As important as choosing the occasion is determining the person who can help you. It is inadvisable to resort to someone who will do us the favor with a symphony of complaints or reproaches, with which what we earn on the one hand we pay in serenity.
- It shouldn’t sound like an imposition. It is aggressive and unfair that the other is forced to do what we ask, either because we are putting him against the wall or because we demand it in exchange for past favors. The elegance in the art of asking is to leave the decision in the hands of the other person, without any consequence if they finally do not agree. We must clarify the freedom of the other, even before formulating our request.
- Avoid falling into a vicious circle: don’t let it be a habit. As Paracelsus said, “the poison is in the dose.” Asking for help once is an act of trust between two people, but if it becomes repetitive and endemic, we will cause an imbalance that will not favor either party. Do not forget that someone who is always asking for money or who only knows how to count problems ends up tiring even his inner circle.
- Offset the scale. If you can’t return the favor to the same person, the best way to balance your little universe is to make your own contribution to someone in need. There is no law that says that giving and receiving must be given between the same actors.
- Give thanks from the heart, but not overwhelm. If the help they give us is fair and adequate, the other person will already feel very satisfied to be useful to someone they appreciate. Giving thanks in a short and simple way is the perfect culmination, it is not necessary to exaggerate our gratitude, since with this we can end up generating discomfort.