Asking for help

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Asking for help doesn't come naturally to most people, especially for go-getters like us right! Unfortunately it also doesn't come naturally to people who need it due to crisis. I facilitate a grief support group on Tuesdays and asking for help is often identified as one of the most difficult things for the members to do. They know their life is changed, they know there are tools to deal with the challenges they face, and they know they might need help getting through the grief journey. But knowing how to get that help is often beyond them. To close this week's group we all identified something we could ask for help with and there was a universality to their hesitancy - no one wants to become a burden. Sometimes support systems are small and we feel like there are only a few people available to ask, and we don't want to exhaust them either. But more often than not people are looking for ways to help, and it only takes a request to get them into action.
I'm terrible at asking for help, and usually spare no effort in trying to do things on my own. I regained a lot of independence while my husband and I were separated, and I've been clinging to it even when life would be easier for everyone if I just asked for a little help. I had a potluck last night with my Pink Gloves Boxing group, and due to working late Tuesday knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to make something prior to the dinner. I mentioned this as something to ask for help on (likely requesting hubby to whip up one of his specialties) and a group member had a good tip: frogeye salad at IGA. It would be easy, everyone would like it, and I wouldn't stress myself or exhaust a resource.
I think the key to asking for help is remembering there are some things not worth getting stressed out about, cooking for a potluck among them. This great big world has great big problems, so making our small issues into big problems rather than asking for a little assistance is such a waste of everyone's energy. Here are several things I need help with, and asking for that help is on my to-do list:
1. Food control: I am going to ask a few people to share their food journeys with me, as support for myself but also to have the opportunity to support them. In addition, I will ask (demand?) husband not bring home irresistable treats.
2. Expanding my workout: By asking lil sis to include me in her Jillian Michaels workouts, joining me for walks and classes, and just pushing each other to do squats/crunches/pushups daily, I will have her to keep me accountable and competitive. Beating myself is fine but beating a 20yr old is a whole new level of satisfaction.
3. My money: I am terrible with money. I am going to ask for help in budgeting and keeping track of my money as well as identifying excess spending. I'm going to ask, gulp, my mom. She is someone I can trust as well as someone who raised a family on very little. Even if it means shame every time I buy a latte, I need someone to help me out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
4. My house: We moved into our new home in February and I figured I'd have everything taken care of long before May 1. Here is it nearly June 1 with a housewarming looming in 2 weeks and I am not decorated and some of the little things that could have been done long ago are left unfinished. I have a friend who offered her help in the yard for a trade, but now I need to ask for organization and decorating help. I really want my sis and her friend to help with this. I know they would do it gladly and if we schedule it, it will happen.
5. My attitude: Having a positive, gracious attitude makes for a much happier Anj. So I am going to ask my coworkers and family to help me stay on the bright side of life. It is easy to fall into negativity and stay there but it doesn't make life very fun. If people can help me remember just how awesome my life is when I'm highlighting the cons, and I do the same for them, my environment, world and life will be much brighter :)
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Another source for money help is right here on Spark. I haven't looked at it yet, but if you go to "Your Spark Points" and look in the area of "One Time Challenges" there is a link to "Visit Spark". If it is like the rest of Spark, there should be a lot of good information there. And there's the possibility of earning 25 Spark points...

    3352 days ago
    Good points and got me thinking, too, as I also have a terrible time asking for help!
    Also, love the aspect of how much of a trauma should we make out of things like a pot luck when people do not have clean drinking water? Thanks for the food for thought! Good luck on your quest!
    P.S. What is frogeye salad??? emoticon
    3353 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/25/2012 2:04:14 AM
    Very good points. I recently had to ask someone for help and it is very difficult for me, as well. Thanks for the good blog.
    3354 days ago
    I was talking to a friend that is living on unemployment right now. She was referred to a free training website by the unemployment agency and she told me about it. I am horrible with money too - I used to be better but I was never great. I've never had a savings account; I was never taught how important it was. This free online training class really opened my eyes and I'm putting together a plan. You should take a peek at it.

    It takes a bit of time and navigating but so very well worth the effort. I can't "Add a Link" to comments, but you can copy and paste the website below.

    All the best,
    3354 days ago
    You're absolutely right! Asking for help isn't easy for most of us. This journey does have to come from within however, we all need a little help from our friends. Our strength waivers and sometimes it just seems too difficult. Spark People has been the best support system I could ever ask for. The secret to happiness is allowing people the privilege of being the recipients of our help.

    My story, which isn't finished by a long shot, is chronicled in my SP blog. The opening curtain lifted on January 9, 2012. I've faithfully made it part of my plan to write the good, the bad, and the ugly, all the way to reaching my goal. It isn't the coolest blog out there because I'm not that talented. I'm writing it to help myself and anyone else who needs to know they're not alone.
    3354 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6805483
    Great blog- thanks for sharing! I was nodding my head in agreement the entire time I was reading it. It takes a great person to realize areas in which they struggle and an even greater person to ask for help. You should be so proud of youself.

    I'm not eating fast food this month. I also had to ask my DH not bring it home or eat it in front of me because just seeing or smelling it triggers my cravings. He's been great so far and it has been than much easier. Sometimes I don't think the people in our lives understand how much their actions effect us. Be sure to thank him :-) but also pat yourself on your back!!!

    Keep up the great work and thanks again for sharing!
    3354 days ago
    I too have a lot of trouble asking for help. Your blog is excellent and I enjoyed reading it. I've enjoyed getting to know you better through here and our Zumba class. I'm sad I only have 4 class punches left for that class and that we won't go to Zumba at the same place after that but I'm glad we can still support each other here, run into each other round town and perhaps make plans to walk together sometime.

    One step at a time, one day at a time, one task at a time, you are the only one who can take the journey you want to take but asking for help along the way and remaining accountable to yourself and others will make a big difference. You go girl!

    Asking & demanding that DH not bring home unhealthy food - A+ in my book!

    emoticon emoticon
    3354 days ago
    I find asking for help very difficult as well. I think I resist it so much because I don't want to imply I am weak in any way, which, if I am honest, I have tons of weaknesses and have lots of supportive people around me who would be willing to help me if only they knew I need the help.
    I think I need to be a little more willing to openly acknowledge the areas i need help in (as you have above) and find out what kind of help I can ask for without crossing the "burden" line.
    Thank you for giving me something to think about today, and an action to take.
    3354 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/24/2012 12:13:34 PM
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by ANJII7