Do you ask for help?
Truth is I rarely do. And trust me it’s not a good habit not to. As I grow older, I realise this is one of my major flaws, this inability to reach out and ask for help. In the quest to do everything myself, I end up with more than my fair share to do. My voice constricts when I find myself even contemplating asking for help. It makes me feel worthless. I find myself thinking ‘Can’t you even do that?’ And let you in on a secret, this is so common among women.
Maybe it’s time women stop being multitaskers. Maybe we should afford ourselves the luxury of being human. Maybe we should ask for help every now and then. Women need to remember that asking for help doesn’t reduce their self-worth. It is not a sign of weakness but strength. I need to remember that asking for help is natural and a very human thing to do.
My voice constricts when I find myself even contemplating asking for help.
You would have noticed how we women always tend to go ahead and do chores at home on our own instead of waiting for the men in our lives to help us with those. Even though we are neck deep in work, we rather do those dirty dishes as well ourselves instead of asking the family to pitch in. Or, in spite of having a severe headache, we would rather stop our partners from doing the cooking for our kids than rest. We just somehow have to do everything. I don’t understand when or how we have been so naturally conditioned for this.
These are just two examples of occasions when we shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help but somehow we don’t. There is something that stops us, stops us from being human or less than perfect, for God forbid if we were to say we can’t handle housework along with our careers because it’s just impossibly tiring. Impossible being the key. But we still strive to do it all. I think it was in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In that I had read about the maternal gatekeeper behaviour that we women exhibit. Maybe that is one of the reasons for our inability to ask for help, to put our hands up and say that we can’t do it all.
“State what you want, and go for it, don’t refuse yourself a request you did not make.”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity
Time and again we tend to give fuel to the belief that we are some sort of superwomen. Trust me when I say that this is not at all in our own interest. Far from it actually. We are just a bunch of overworked women who take up more than our fair share of chores owing to our gender, owing to the belief that we have to do it all thereby freeing the other gender from all such responsibilities.
Time and again we tend to give fuel to the belief that we are some sort of superwomen. Trust me, we just want to be allowed to be flawed human beings too. #women Click To Tweet
This defect or whatever you may call it is so ingrained in us that we hardly ever notice it anymore. Time and again my husband has pointed out how I should ask for help when taking care of my naughty toddler gets too much, that I should just step away just like he does. But I just cannot seem to do that. I constantly feel overloaded and overworked, irritated too, as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders. And a lot of this can be reduced if I would just ask for help. But I just don’t. Sometimes I wonder what am I trying to prove and to whom?
“Never let your ego get in the way of asking for help when in desperate need. We have all been helped at a point in our lives.”
― Edmond Mbiaka
I think often the belief that asking for help is a sign of weakness is the reason behind many being unable to ask for it in the first place. Of course, it’s not exclusive to women but when it comes to us, it has a lot to do with being taken seriously as well, to being enough. The need to be strong, independent is so enormous that we often mistake asking for help as a step backwards. The ability to balance everything gives us a feeling of accomplishment subconsciously that no matter how exhausted that makes us we still reach out for it.
The need to be strong, independent is so enormous that we often mistake asking for help as a step backwards. #Women Click To Tweet
I think in my mind I feel asking for help will take away from all that I do. So, I hesitate. And with each passing day, it takes me one step closer to a burnout!
“Brene Brown has found through her research that women tend to feel shame around the idea of being ‘never enough’… at home, at work, in bed, never pretty enough, never smart enough, never thin enough, never good enough…
If I ask for help…
I am not enough.
It’s no wonder so many of us don’t bother to ask, it’s too painful.”
― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help”
So, tell me, do you ask for help?
Picture Credit | Pathdoc via Shutterstock