I know a lot of Purposeful Women who choose not to ask for help. Why is that? We are surrounding by a community of friends, family and co-workers who would be happy to help if they only knew how. Why do we resist?
So often as Purposeful Woman we go through life with our head down, putting one foot in front of the other without seeing who is standing by willing to help.
Friends, family, acquaintances may know of our struggles and offer to help but they don’t know the best way to offer assistance.
You’ll hear phrases like:
“What can I do to help?”
“Let me know if there is anything I can do.”
The phrases sound almost empty in their lack of substance and actual comfort yet the sentiment is genuine. As Purposeful Women we need to know how to respond.
We are inclined to say:
“Thanks so much.” “Prayers – that would be helpful.” “I’ll let you know if there is anything I can do.”
When what we are really saying is “thanks but let me just figure this out for myself.” Believe it or not – we sometime hurt the ones we love when we refuse their help.
One friend had a difficult time this summer as her son was in a devasting car accident. People came out of the woodwork offering help but she refused. She said to me “I don’t know what to ask for. If you want to know the truth, I’d love someone to wash my dishes, do my laundry and change the sheets, but how do I ask? People don’t want to do that kind of dirty work. It is just easier to ask for prayers.”
One neighbor took the bull by the horns and, knowing where the spare key was kept, came over and filled the refrigerator with meals and cookies and changed the sheets. My friend came home from a long day at the hospital to discover the true gift of friendship. It didn’t cost a lot and yet was the best help of all.
People are there – waiting to help you get through challenging times if you just ask. Be specific. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the cleaning or shopping or laundry. People long for a concrete way to be helpful. Don’t be afraid. Think of it this way – you are doing it for them!
Often people are so grateful they aren’t going through the same challenges you are, you actually make them feel better about themselves when you give them specific ways they can help. Trust me, there will come a time when you’ll want to do the same for them.
Ask for help. Accept the help graciously. Thank them. It is as simple as that.