The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

You Need Help

The View from a Drawbridge

I know a lot of people, mostly men, who don’t like to accept help from anyone. I’m not just talking about that annoying habit of refusing to ask for directions. (Men must secretly want to kiss the inventor of the GPS on the lips.) No. I mean any kind of help at any time. Like when you get trapped under a heavy object, as you do, and someone comes along with a block and tackle and offers to hoist said object from your person, free of charge. Those “don’t help me” types will say, “No thanks. I’ve got this under control.” Suit yourself.

Come to think of it, that’s a fairly good indicator of your level of don’t-help-me-ness. If people say “suit yourself” to you a lot, you may have a problem. You may want to…uh…get help, because you are overlooking a very valuable social dynamic. You see, people often want to help. It makes them feel good. It strengthens bonds. If your neighbor breaks out his jumper cables when your car has a dead battery, he’s not only helping you and taking the opportunity to get to know you better, but he’s comforting himself with the idea that if his battery ever goes dead, you will be there for him.

Helping is also a way for people to show you that they love you. When you have the flu and your Aunt Betty brings you a pot of homemade chicken soup, don’t say “You shouldn’t have.” That may seem like the polite response but what it sounds like is, “I don’t think I deserve it,” and that makes Aunt Betty feel not only bad for you and your lack of self-esteem, but also irritated that she went to the trouble to pluck all the feathers off her favorite chicken. No, what you should say is, “Thank you so much! I love you, too.”

Accepting help may make you feel vulnerable or weak, but think of it as a gift to both you and the giver. You can’t give without getting something back. It’s impossible. But you also can’t give unless someone’s willing to receive.

giving-and-receiving

(Image credit: ponderabout.com)

9 thoughts on “You Need Help

  1. Carole Lewis says:

    Accepting help of any kind after my divorce and many years after was so difficult. I had to prove my own self worth. Raising three children on my own wasn’t enough. In fact 6 years later, at work this guy offered to help me move a very heavy object and I said “Oh I think I can handle it.”, Well, I sure am lucky he came back, because we’ve been married 36 years.

    1. Awwww, that’s so romantic. 🙂

  2. Stereotype much? Menists everywhere scream in mock outrage.

    1. That’s the beauty of writing a blog instead of being a journalist. 🙂

  3. Yeah… stop picking on men… and trying to help us…

    1. Well, Carole admitted it’s not a strictly male phenomenon, even if I didn’t make that completely clear. 🙂

      1. Don’t try to weasle your way out…

      2. What’s a “weasle”? :p

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