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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I have trouble asking for...

A revelation of sorts:  I have a very difficult time asking for help.

Now I'm not referring to asking for help about everything.  I have no problem talking to professionals when I am in over my head, so this isn't something that borders on being a mental health issue.  Trust me, my doctor(s), dentist, lawyer, etc. all know that I'm pretty darn good at asking (and paying) for assistance when it's needed.  This is more akin to my having a personal need of sorts, where the act of asking for help borders on the painful.

I'll also note that I am and equal opportunity offender when it comes to this kind of thing, in that my wife and other family members can testify to the fact that this (asking for help) isn't something I do well or do often, with anyone.

Maybe this is all about being too prideful, but something in me thinks that's a superficial explanation, at best.  While I do take pride in the things I do, I am not stupid enough to believe that I am above and beyond needing help when it comes to any of them, be they personal or professional.  Heck, just read any number of postings on this blog (over the years...) and you'll probably see the just the opposite, namely that I tend to be more self-effacing than anything else.  I'll also note that this isn't some kind of repulsion at the idea of maybe having to help others in return, as one of my joys in life is, in fact, helping others.  No, this is far deeper than that, and since I've had some time for pondering, I do have a working theory of sorts.  Here goes...

Growing up, my mother raised four sons, all a year apart in age, all by herself.  I'm not sure what she may have asked for in the way of help, but my perception is that not much was delivered.  I genuinely think I am suspicious of asking for help because of that...I had little in the way of examples upon which to learn from during my formative years.  Perhaps I am afraid that it will not be delivered...that I will somehow be disappointed...that maybe no one would be actually interested in providing help when I ask for it anyway.  Perhaps I somehow believe that I should be above the need for it in the first place.

Now I am in no way, shape, or form saying that feeling this way...having a visceral aversion to asking for help...way is in any way right, logical, or even healthy.  Feeling this way is actually not healthy, because, in part, it's not living in the real world.  Existence in the year 2016 requires help, as the world is simply too complex for any of us to truly master on our own.  And I will note that I am no exception.

So where does this lead me?  Well, I am in a position now where reaching out to some folks is a must.  It is non-negotiable.  When I think about the difficult things I have had to come to terms in with my life, this is a top five item, easily, but not because of the underlying, it's simply because reaching out to others is simply very difficult for me.  I've mastered the logic behind what I need to do these days; it's just the getting help part that's still a bit vexing.  In the grand scheme of life though, I have to get better at asking for help, and perhaps this is, in a cosmic sort of way, the lesson I am being taught here and now.

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