How Parents Grow – Asking for Help

Girl with fake smile

For many of us, asking for help is an imposition, weak, dangerous, burdensome, a character flaw…

We don’t, won’t, refuse to ask for help even when we so clearly need help.

Why is it so hard to ask for help?

For me, for years it meant people would know I didn’t have it together. I couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t smart enough. I couldn’t tolerate the vulnerability that comes when asking for help.

Being self-contained looked like strength and was something my father role-modeled.

My dad’s unwillingness to ask for help was taught to him. Stuff it. Be tough. Move on.

His silent stoicism seemed like a superhero power when I was a kid. I wanted to be like that. Later I understood his refusal to open up was a hardcore protector that refused vulnerability at any cost.

So I began to see how asking for help takes another kind of strength that connects you to not only yourself but to others. Emotionally showing up builds strength and community, not isolation and suppression.

But first, you have to ask for help.

“I need you.”
“Can you help me.”
“I don’t know what I’m doing.”

There’s a sweetness that comes when people help you. They show up differently. There’s a giving and a receiving and honestly, a heart connection that reminds each of us how human we are.

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