“Can you help me?”
Seems simple enough, right? However, this phrase strikes fear in some women (myself included). Why is it that we try to take on the world at the expense of our own health? Are we trying to prove something? Are we extreme people pleasers?
Maybe it’s both OR maybe we just don’t realize that people LIKE to help us. -More about this in a second.
For instance, take my last moving experience. My husband is out of town and I was in charge of taking care of move. Naturally, we called a moving company to come take care of the dirty work and all was golden, right? Wrong.
I decided that I would take care of it on my own. I’d have friends come one day to help move the big stuff, but I’d drive my tiny Mini Cooper full of bags and horribly packed boxes to and from houses multiple times. Incredibly inefficient, but it all worked out. Or did it?
Hello cortisol and anxiety!! I’ve done a great job calming you down these last few months only to have you show up again in full force these past few days. Just because we CAN do things on our own, it doesn’t mean that we should.
So I did the move on my own, applause accepted, but what I also did was shut out the world from contributing to me. Huh? If that last sentence didn’t make any sense, you definitely need to keep reading.
People LIKE to help you. Yes, even with the most painful tasks (including moving). By you asking for help, people feel like they are valued and have something to contribute. Think about how you feel when someone asks you for a favor. Now, if you are dealing with someone who ALWAYS asks for help (even when they don’t need it), this may be different. However, take into consideration the last time someone important to you was vulnerable and asked for help. You probably experienced something that people call “that warm and fuzzy feeling.” You genuinely wanted to help, right? Sure, you may have had to rearrange your schedule a bit, but the achievement you felt when you completed the job was WELL worth it.
I am a people pleaser, 110%. I almost always say “yes” to helping, even when I’m the one really needing the help. Even though I may be busy, I never feel bothered by someone who I care about asking for help. It fills my cup to contribute.
As women, we are caregivers at heart. Being on the receiving end of care from others may seem like we are not doing our “duty” or we are failing. That’s nonsense, but is all too often ingrained in our brain. If we don’t ask for help, we end up feeling overwhelmed, resentful, and just plain angry. That doesn’t sound like a great caregiver to me!
Step back and admit that you’re not perfect, nobody is. Admit that receiving help feels awesome for you AND the person giving you help. There’s no need to put up a front that you’ve got everything under control. Instead of looking like a superwoman, you end up looking like a maniac 🙂
It’s good for your health too! Asking for help will naturally bring down your cortisol levels. This is because you are reconnecting with others (and not just on Facebook), and also because you are removing some immediate stressors from your life. And hey! Lowering your cortisol will help you lose some of that excess weight, boost your libido, enhance your fertility, and improve your overall health – a win-win all around.
So here’s what to do:
- Ask the person if they have some time to talk about something that’s important to you. If they don’t have time, reschedule.
- Let them know how you are feeling and be clear about what you need help with.
- Let them know how much this would help you and what it would provide for you (a sense of peace, more time with your kids/family, a skill that they are far better at).
- When the task is complete finish up with a big hug, quality time with them, watching their kids/pets for a night, a thank you card, or personalized gift (this could be a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store).
Here’s what not to do:
- Over request help. There is a difference between asking for help and taking advantage of help.
- Not being clear on what you need. This leads to confusion and frustration for both parties.
- Not showing appreciation. Appreciation needs are different for each person. This could be: words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, or physical touch. Check out the five love languages while you’re at it. 🙂
- Feel regretful that you asked for help, feel unworthy of help, feel like you’re bothering people when you’re making requests.
If you follow the steps above, you will do great!
Got it? Now, start making some powerful requests!! Please leave comments below on how you do. This would provide me with confirmation that you got the message of this blog and acted on it 🙂