July 13, 2010

I've Got a Favour to Ask You

A colleague came into my office this morning and asked if I'd take the emergency calls tonight.  He's taking a motorcycle training course and tonight is the night they do their first road ride.  I laughed and said ok, but that he'd owe me.  He said he'd do it for me but I reminded him that when I took my motorcycle training two years ago, I was on-call and he didn't do it for me.  He said that he would have if I'd asked.

Seems so logical, but here's the thing.  I'd never ask.

If it's my job to do something I just do it. It would never dawn on me to ask someone else to do something I was supposed to be doing.  I would plan my social life to accommodate my work schedule, if need be.

This started me thinking about asking others for help (which I have a really hard time doing this).

I'm not interested in playing the martyr and don't moan about how much I have to do, or how burdened I am. I don't avoid asking for help so that people will say "OMG, look how dedicated/committed/capable Lianne is." I don't think others can't do the things I do, as well as I do them (ok, ok...but not all the time).

So why can't I ask for help?

I do know that I don't want to appear to be needy or weak, or incapable of juggling the many balls life throws at me. I do know that others have enough to do without having to do things for me too. I do know that if I've invited you over to my home, you are a treasured guest and I want you to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. And I do know that if I really, really need help (like the time I was stuck up to my knees in a sink hole of muck), you will definitely know I need help.

I'm curious if this is a gender thing.  Or if it's an only child thing.  Or if it's not a thing at all and that's just the way it is.

What do you think?


jacs23 said...

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” `Albert Einstein

I laughed when I read your post [not in an offensive way at all] because I, too, struggle with asking for help. I think I've determined that it is a "I don't want to inconvenience another" attitude. Knowing this -- I have had to accept that this is just the way I am -- and as my dad once told me, "jaclyn, you cannot expect others to think like you." So....I accepted that if I wanted help [or even sorta teeny weeny bit expected it] -- I had to ask.

And if I wanted to help others because my heart wanted to help - then help, but if there was a part of me that was doing it out of "I don't want them to not like me or think I'm not helpful," Then I wasn't giving for the right reason and I needed to learn to say No...and realize it is OK to do so.

Just say No -- or just say "yes" to saying "No," and be okay with it. :)


Sharon McPherson said...

Well, putting a spin on it, perhaps those who ask for the favours are brazen, manipilative or lazy???

I too rarely ask for help, therefor am neither of the above. Except it probably pays to be a teensy bit brazen.

I don't think it's a gender thing, it's a personality trait thing ...

And you are gorgeous just the way you are :)

Lianne said...

Love the quote Jaclyn, thanks. And I agree with the sentiment. I have definitely learned to let go of somethings and to pick my battles over others.

And Sharon -- thank you, thank you, thank you. And I agree (about the brazen, manipulative, lazy thing).

mylifeonice said...

Oh sister...............I am the queen of NOT asking for help. I actually focused on that last year when I had the opportunity to work with a coach. AMAZING experience. I don't know if not being able to say NO comes from being the 8th and last child (next sibling 7 years older and growing up LIKE an only child...I could go on, but I'll spare you)...or being an single (hot and sexy momma - haha) for many years and just being able to do things on my own...for a long time...17 years. Did I mention I'm hot.........kidding....but I am....I'm not great at asking for help, but I'm getting so much better at it. REALLY.......believe me?

Anonymous said...

In my life as married (30 years), I was exactly like you. Today I'm different because I want to be kind to/with myself.

Your causeri is wonderful and so thoughtful, and the answer is ..... yes I'm sorry but I think it's very 'female talent'.

Now you have cracked the code, so you can change a little bit!

Thanx for nice post & nice comments on my blog!

P & L

Agneta, a swedish sister :)

Kit Courteney said...

I'm the same. I won't ask for help for anything.

I have no idea why, but I just can't bring myself to.

I have a sister, one year younger than myself, and she asks for help ALL the time, at work, home, everywhere!

I've always put it down to being the eldest. I HAD to just get on with things while making sure she was ok as 'the grown up one'.

Interesting post :0)