I’m not sure where we learn it, but most of us are uncomfortable asking for favors.
Maybe it’s because we’re taught to work hard and earn things, to be self sufficient. All good things, but it’s easy to miss out on increased depth in our relationships when we try to do everything ourselves.
We love doing things for others, but cringe with anxiety and awkwardness when we need a hand.
I needed a ride to the airport a couple weeks ago. Progress is that I asked my friend with little to no hand wringing and worry about how I might be putting her out.
The morning of my flight, as I rushed through packing, sweaty and behind schedule as usual, I got this sweet text from my friend:
I laughed a little, because she spoke directly to the little voice we all have. I probably wouldn’t have taken her up on it without the extra encouragment.
It’s hard enough to ask for help, but accepting an unexpected gift when you still have the choice to turn it down? Even harder. It’s much more comfortable to say, “You don’t have to” than “Thank you.”
No one wants to be needy. We want to be needed, which is why we love doing favors for other people.
I’ve been challenging myself to ask for help when I need it as readily as I do favors when friends ask.
Healthy relationships should consist of give and take. If, like me, your biggest fear is bothering someone, try to trust your friends to be honest if they can’t help out this time. And if they do, say thank you, but don’t apologize. Trust them when they say they’re happy to help.
We weren’t meant to live in isolation. Asking even for a simple favor invites people into our lives, and gives them that great feeling of being needed.
There aren’t two camps: givers and takers. We are all both.
Do you have a hard time asking for favors?
This post is part of a 31 day series on “doing less to build more.” To read other posts from this series, click here.