Why is it so difficult to ask for help?
Updated: May 18
Everyone has a life story. And everyone’s life story matters.
Underneath the superficial layer of the ‘smile, laughter and hardiness’ lies a story book. Our very own unique story book with many pages, and many tales of life’s trials, tribulations and struggles. We all have one, it’s the nature of life. It’s a story of immense beauty, struggles and all.
Struggle is universal, no-one is exempt. So why is it so difficult to ask for help?
Maybe it’s the ‘Faster, Harder’ erratic pace of life that society holds us accountable for.
Maybe it’s the perceived weakness and shame that leaches itself to the vulnerability of reaching out for help.
Perhaps it's the many layers of armour we put on over the years to protect ourselves from vulnerability and pain.
Or maybe it’s the accumulation of many things that human beings have got slightly wrong. The accumulation of bad choices and decisions that have led us away from the path of acceptance and openness to the shared human experience.
So what can we do to change things?
I think the power of influence plays a huge role. If we are surrounded by people who don’t ask for help, even when they encourage us to do so ourselves, by asking for help we become the anomaly, the weak link. The pain, isolation and judgement that reflects back from this becomes incomprehensible. So we put the ‘smile, laughter and hardiness’ back on and carry on.
Ultimately, this has got to be a team effort. We have to see the true value in asking for help, we have to recognise the strength it takes to reach out in times of struggle, and we have to help others to acknowledge this value and strength. We have to practice what we preach, and model the behaviour we compassionately wish to see from others. We have to be willing to sit in and navigate through the discomfort of open and honest conversations. If we can find it within ourselves to recognise and respect everyone’s life story, the many pages, and the struggles written into those pages, the world becomes a far less lonely place.
One thing the pandemic has taught us is that nothing stays the same, life is a constant evolution, curve balls and all. We have the chance to take something positive forward by working on ourselves, and asking for help when we need it, even when the voice inside tells us to say nothing.