May I Help You?


I need help.

Three short, monosyllabic words that together make up what is arguably the hardest phrase to say in the English language for so many people.

Help. Easy to give. Hard to ask for.

If you’re not a horrible person, you try to help others every now and again. You see someone lost? You offer directions. See someone struggling to carry their groceries to the car? You offer to help. Being a good, helpful person is as simple and easy as that.

Asking for help, however, is an entirely different situation.

It’s one of the hardest phrases to vocalize.When you ask for help, you are basically admitting a negativity. I don’t know how. I can’t understand. I am confused. When you are the person asking for help to carry your groceries, it feels like you are telling the other person that you aren’t strong enough to complete this on your own. Basically, you have admit defeat that you can complete whatever you are trying to achieve.

As for me, it makes me feel weak.

The idea that we need others can be a difficult one to wrap the mind around. As much as I try to be independent, I know I can’t do everything on my own. This frustrates me to no end. Part of it has to do with a mistrust of other people. When you ask for help, you are putting trust in people who might not be able to remedy whatever situation you find. Even worse, they might betray or exploit your moment of weakness for their own benefit. While it is not morally advised, many have taken advantage of the moments of weakness expressed by others.

Basically, it does not always do well to seem weak or uncertain in life.

When I stop to admit to another person that I need assistance, all of the attention falls back on me. I’m not one who wants unfavorable spotlights on me. While I experience moments of social anxiety and mistrust of others, I genuinely like people and want them to like me at the end of the day. I haven’t reached the point where I’m not ashamed to seem like I have flaws in my design. I grasp the concept that no one is perfect, but I want to seem like I am.  When I ask for help, I think people see me as less than what I should be.

It also makes me feel incredibly selfish.

Asking for help sort of ties into the idea that we’re unwilling to be selfish as people. When we request assistance, we are asking another person to care about us enough to step in. We must realize our own self worth. For me to ask another for help, I am forced admit to myself that I matter enough to warrant assistance from another human being.  I must value myself enough to believe my worth of the kindness of others.

It’s scary to admit negativity and to be a little selfish, but what’s the alternative?


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