Someone I loved deeply once told me that the absolute refusal to ask for help even when you’re in agony is rooted in trauma and we have been conditioned to look at it as strength.

Nikita Gill

‘No thank you, I’m fine’. My automatic response, always. I recognize that one, I never ask for help because somewhere along the line I internalized that I could do it all and two, that I can do it alone. And so, I set about tightening the strings around my cape, my right arm and clenched fist in the air as I rocket off to save the world. What an empowering illusion.

If this is not bad enough, when friends and family offer to help me, I tell them no. Why do I do this, when I really need help and I’m drowning in a sea of overwhelm? On reflecting, and I’m doing a lot of that lately, it’s because I’ve been conditioned by society and family tradition that asking for help is a sign of weakness. And who wants to be seen as a weak woman, not me!

‘I can do it all, I got this!’ should be nobody’s mantra. We need help, every last one of us. We need the village, we need community. But it’s not easy for me, especially when I’ve been refusing help all my life.

However, I’m at the stage where I’m relinquishing the need to appear strong and brave all the time. I am not a superhero. Say it with me, ‘I am not a superhero! I need help!’ Navigating life is hard. Perimenopause is hard. Parenting is hard. We need support systems, of which there are many, to see us through.

So, if you’re like me and constantly refuse help, I want to encourage you to reach out to your community, reach out to your people. Ask for help. Accept help when next you are offered. Your people will show up for you!

Is it difficult for you to ask for help?

Do you refuse help, when offered? Tell me in the comment box below.

1 Comment

  1. Tamara Phillip says:

    You held up a mirror in this sharing. It is particularly difficult to ask for help if in the past, you have experienced reproach from the persons who helped you. However, to live well with others there needs to be opportunities for reciprocity. You can count on me, and I need to know I can count on you. I also think of the scripture in James 4 … yet ye have not, because ye ask not…

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