I helped a friend in need last week. I helped her by explaining something we don’t learn in school, but something we learn after years of experience.
When she came to see me, my friend was visibly upset about having to ask for help. I on the other hand, was honoured that such an intelligent young lady would ask me for my opinion and help. Telling her how much I appreciated her confidence in me did not seem to make her feel better at all.
I was struck at the irony of the situation. This lady is one of the most giving people I know. She never bats an eye at helping others, but clearly having to ask someone else to help her, makes her very uncomfortable.
Why? Why is asking for help so difficult? Why are we so gracious about offering help to others, but not about giving someone else the opportunity to help us?
I did a little soul searching after this experience and realized that most of my success has come from others helping me when I needed it. Sure, being hardworking, stubborn and occasionally smart has something to do with it, but the fact is I could not have made it this far without some serious help from others.
Today, I am just as likely to ask for help as I am to give help. Both make me feel good. It’s rewarding to help others and I want to grab every chance I can to do that. And unlike in my younger days, I am more at ease in asking for help. I know it makes others feel good and I get new insight into whatever challenge I’m struggling with.
I hope my friend continues to become more comfortable at asking for help when needed and to give help every chance she gets.