It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Sometimes that shelf is too high for you to reach. Sometimes things require more strength than you can muster. Sometimes what is required is not something you know how to do. Sometimes you realize that acting on your own could make things worse. Sometimes you find yourself in a scary situation. When that’s the case for me, I ask for help. And that’s okay.

Asking for help does not mean that you’re weak. It does not mean that you’re a victim. It does not mean that you’re being manipulative. It simply means that you need help.

A true sign of weakness, in my opinion, is refusing to ask for or accept help when it’s obviously needed. If you’re going down for the third time, it’s foolish to drown because you’re simply too proud to ask for help. It’s so much more self-destructive to suffer in silence than it is to swallow your pride and reach out for assistance.

If no one ever needed help, then societies wouldn’t have been invented. Think of asking for help as the ultimate form of taking care of yourself. You should be proud of your ability to recognize that need and act upon it.

And helpers are amazing. There was a reason that Mr. Rogers said to look for them when you see something scary. Helpers are generous and kind and compassionate and caring. A true helper isn’t going to judge you for your need. They’re not going to think less of you. They are going to realize that someday they just might need help, too. And that, too, is okay.

The coolest thing about being a human is that your asking for help today does not preclude you from lending a helping hand tomorrow. So don’t let anyone make you feel like a victim. We all have good days and bad days. There’s no shame in that. The strength is in recognizing that fact.

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Bullies

There’s nothing I hate more on this earth than a bully. And I happen to interact with one regularly. Her aggression really intimidated me at first. But over time when she realized I wasn’t going to budge about certain things, she then had to get increasingly nit-picky until now the things that she blows up about seem ever more pathetic.

Now when I see her starting to puff up like a bullfrog, instead of becoming tense, I’m hard-pressed not to laugh. I can see how weak and ineffectual she truly is, and it’s quite obvious that that’s the one thing she fears—that her weakness will be revealed. That’s the thing about bullies. They may seem to loom large, but they’re really hollow inside.

I’m a fairly laid back, peace-loving individual, but if someone bullies a person that I happen to love, watch out. I will cut a beyotch. Don’t even try it. Funny that it has only been recently that I’ve learned to stand up for myself as ferociously as I stand up for those I love. And even now, it’s doesn’t come naturally to me to do so. But the older I get, the more tired I become, and the less I’m willing to tolerate abuse.

It’s rather sad that we live in a world where we have to learn to counteract such hostile behavior in order to effectively function. But it’s nice to be one of the good guys. I look at my bully and I don’t envy her that miserable existence. She may think she’s punishing others, but the main person she punishes is herself, because she’s tense, unhappy and friendless.

[Image credit: aqualandpetsplus.com]
[Image credit: aqualandpetsplus.com]

Baby Talkers

Personally, I could never bring myself to talk baby talk to children. They are going to need to speak properly if they want to get anywhere in this world, so you may as well start teaching them early. Sure, modify your inflection to sound more enthusiastic and get their attention, keep your sentences short and repeat them as needed, but don’t resort to some creepy pseudo-speech. I can’t even do it with pets.

What sounds even more like nails down a chalkboard to me are those adults who use baby talk with other adults. I can’t stand it. It’s wrong on so many levels.

I used to have a friend who was intelligent, beautiful, and an all-around lovely person. Standing at five foot nothing, she was petite, but she was a dynamo. One of those people who could walk into a room and everyone would stop and stare. All the energy in the world seemed to be attracted to her. It was really kind of annoying, come to think of it.

But what was even more annoying was the fact that she used baby talk in her everyday speech. Despite her intelligence and her many talents, when she opened her mouth, no matter what she was saying, the prevailing message seemed to be, “Take care of me. I’m a widdle bitty wounded bird. I’m weak.” And that message did work on quite a few people. She probably never had to lift a grocery bag or check the oil in her car or open a door in her entire life.

If I had what she had, I’d be leader of the free world. Instead, she diminished herself. She never seemed like the sort who lacked confidence, but her message was that she was broken and needed fixing. I couldn’t understand it. I don’t know if she really saw herself that way, or if that’s just how she was taught to behave, or if she thought it was cute or was just really manipulative, but it used to make me sad.

After she got married to a big, strapping Marine who she liked to call daddy, she worked out 3 hours a day because she was afraid if she got fat she’d lose him. So maybe it was a confidence thing, or a self-esteem thing. Who knows? The only thing I do know is that sometimes I wanted to shake her until her teeth rattled. We’ve since grown apart.

And when I lived in South Florida, I used to take my dogs to a vet who would baby talk, not only to the dogs, but to me and to his staff. It was unnerving and seemed insincere. He was a good vet, and I’m sure he meant well, but I could never get out of there fast enough. Thank heavens my dogs are relatively healthy or I’d have had to look for someone else to take them to. I don’t think my nerves could have taken more than one or two visits per year.

Life is going to send enough adversity your way without you advertising that you’re a conveniently placed victim. You don’t have to act like a wounded fish. The sharks will come along soon enough, believe me. Much better to learn how to punch them in the nose than to offer up your exposed “widdle thwoat.”

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