Last week, I met with one of my best friends to do a bit of catching up. She knows I’ve been on the hunt for a job for months now and offered to send my CV to a few of her contacts. At this point, I’m desperate for anything and know I should have accepted…but still I politely declined her help. I’m just afraid to overstep our friendship and I’m even more scared of looking needy or weak. The truth is, I’m overwhelmed and have no idea what to do.
Isn’t it ironic that most people refuse to ask for help in situations where it’s needed most? Chances are the last time you needed assistance, you decided to take on the situation completely alone without anyone’s help. In many cases, the troublesome hurdle of fear gets in the way of accepting the help our friends and family offer. Unfortunately, many people are scared of being seen as needy and, even more commonly, weak. At Rice Psychology Group of Tampa, however, we believe asking for help is actually one of the most courageous things to do and a definite sign of strength.
Dealing with the ups and downs of life can be an extremely overwhelming and tiring thing to do, but you don’t have to go at it alone.
You’re Only One Person
It’s not uncommon for people to think others will ostracize them for not having the courage to do things on their own, since many people seem to be able to do it all, and then some. I’ll let you in on a little secret: no one has it all together. If you think about it, it’s impossible for one person to handle everything that life throws at them without asking for help from others, simply because we can’t possibly have the necessary experience in everything. If you are overwhelmed by work, caring for your loved ones and everything else in between, it might be time to get reinforcement so you can focus on yourself and the things that are most important in life.
Collaboration is Key
According to Dr. Wendy Rice, asking for help is a sign of strength because social support is one of the most important psychological components for health.
“Social support adds to physical health, to mental health and adds to sanity,” she said during one of her Periscope videos.
If you think of the last time you offered help to one of your dearest friends and they declined, you may remember feeling disappointment. When declining someone’s help, you are denying someone who loves to assist others the chance to do so. On the other hand, when you accept help, you’re showing strength by establishing a better connection with others in allowing them to feel needed and trusted.
In the past, it was believed that the goal of growing up was to achieve independence and being dependent was viewed as a weakness. Being “co-dependent” was something to be avoided at all costs. Now we recognize the ideal goal for leading a healthy life is “interdependence,” which is the need for a balance between our needs for both independence and depending on others.
Taking the First Step
The phrases “tough it out” and “deal with it” have been deeply ingrained in many of our minds, but this doesn’t mean we have to listen to them. If you or someone you know is having trouble asking for help, remember that there’s a lot more to be achieved together than alone. The psychologists at Rice Psychology Group in Tampa are ready to assist you in taking the first step towards figuring out any issues or situations affecting your life, and how you can get through them by using the help of others. Contact us today for more information.