There are many skills we need to learn to survive and thrive in our lives. Asking for help is a skill that is underrated. In fact many people believe it is not a skill or even look down on it. Our culture has been one of cooperation and we regard family and community as a unit. The Western world regards the individual as a unit and prizes competition . This has made the concept of “Independence” as a buzzword and some sort of an ideal to live up to. Being dependent is regarded as being weak. Asking for help is regarded as exposing your vulnerable side and hence not good.
We are not independent creatures. We perform our best when we are mutually dependent on one another. You help me in one way, I will help you in another and we both benefit from that. When we ask for help, we will be surprised at how many people are willing to help. We suffer often because we hesitate to seek help. Even strangers would be willing to help in many situations when we ask for it. Just because we ask for help does not mean we are weak, inadequate or somehow flawed. Just because we ask for help does not mean forever we will be dependent on others.
All of us go through tough phases in our lives. It could be finances, health, emotional upheaval or any other situation in our lives when some support will stabilize us. Help is the scaffolding we need to build ourselves back. Once we are back on our feet, we can stop seeking support and perhaps be in a position to help someone else. We need to teach children too that asking for help in many situations is not wrong or a sign of weakness. It is wrong only when we are being lazy or we want to save our resources. We should all learn to ask for help when we need it instead of suffering from a false sense of shame.