There are many people who feel uncomfortable reaching out to others when they are in need of support (emotional, physical, financial, etc.).
Often these are the same people who:
A. Need to be needed and like others to rely upon them because it helps them feel worthy and worthwhile. They have low self esteem so they only know how to be on the “giving” end of the equation, not the receiving.
B. Are “people pleasers.” They have a fear of others depending upon them because they worry about letting people down. And because they feel uncomfortable saying no, they sometimes get resentful about being asked.
I’ve played both roles so I’m speaking from personal experience here.
Currently, however, I feel totally ok asking for help. I feel I lean on others quite a bit when I feel wobbly. But I am very selective with whom I approach. I ask only those who I know have done extensive inner work and have both a strong sense of self as well as service. I trust them to honor their boundaries and give only what they are genuinely able to.
These folks know how to give from their excess, not by depleting themselves. If they don’t have capacity in the moment, they know there’s no shame in honestly expressing, “I can’t support you in that way right now.”
They know I’m equally grateful to hear their no’s as I am their yes’s because even whilst I’m asking for help, I’m asking without attachment to an outcome and I always want them to check inward and prioritise their own values.
So for this handful of people I turn to in times of need, I feel immensely grateful for their presence in my life. And our relating is reciprocal in that I know they feel the same way about me and appreciate my steadiness when they wobble.
Being human is messy. It’s full of an incredible array of experiences. And we humans are pack animals; we need to experience a sense of community and belonging. Of course this is in balance with a sense of personal power and sovereignty though. Interdependence.
I wonder, do you feel comfortable asking for support? If so, to whom do you turn? If no, which of the above scenarios do you most closely relate to right now?