Oh, how we hate being needy. And by “we” I mean me, and quite possibly you.
Maybe your first inclination in difficulty, like mine, is to announce “I’m FINE!” to the general public, even if you’re not.
Fall down a flight of stairs? You’re FINE!
Just have a baby or two? You’re sleep-deprived, hormonal, overwhelmed and exhausted, but you’re FINE!
Just lost someone important you? You’re not sure to what to do with all this grief, but really, you don’t need to talk to anyone about it because you’re FINE!
All manner of mayhem swirling around you, and there are some things someone else could help you with, but you don’t ask because you don’t want to bother anyone, and besides, really, you’re FINE!
If you are that person, let me invite you to get over yourself.
I myself am in the process of learning to do the same.
As I write this, I am healing from a fractured shin. People see me on crutches, and naturally ask, “What happened?” And I’ve been just embarrassed enough to try to alter my phrasing so the truth will make me sound a little less clumsy and a lot cooler than I am. So I’ve told them,
“I had an unfortunate encounter with the pavement while I was working out.”
“The bicycle was my daughter’s. It was too short, and forced my leg into the front wheel; i.e., it was the bicycle’s fault.
“Wrecked a bike.” (implied: bike=motorcycle)
They usually respond to these answers with a skeptical, if not confused look, so I end up telling the ugly truth: “Fell off a bicycle.”
At first, I was reluctant to ask for help with anything (when I actually needed help with almost everything). I didn’t want to inconvenience the people around me, but it didn’t take me long to realize that most folks actually love to help someone in need.
Lots of people have opened doors for me.
The barista at Starbuck’s brought my drink to my table.
A gentleman actually finished pumping my gas this morning.
Friends have carried my jacket, hauled my books, shouldered my backpack.
And as for my dear husband, who has done all of this and way more–I even resisted help from him at first. I didn’t want to bother him, burn him out, didn’t want his soul to roll its eyes (if a soul can roll its eyes) and think, “Ack! So, so needy! Does it ever stop?”
But he doesn’t feel this way. His only need, I have discerned, is for acknowledgement.
Even though he says, “Please, I don’t want credit,” trust me, he loves credit. So I give him credit out the wazoo.
Granted, there ARE people who will stand around and watch you try to open a door with your head (true story)–but so many more will sprint across a parking lot to give you a hand.
And as a result of my new habit of saying, “Yes, thank you,” I know this to be true:
When we let someone else help us, we create an environment that is ripe for joy–times two! There’s the joy that comes from being helped (a smile? relief? whatever that help enables you to do or be or experience?) as well as the joy that comes from helping, since I believe God hard wired us to lend a hand or some heart when we encounter someone in need.
The truth is that many, many people are delighted to help, as you yourself probably are.
So–whether we have a small, temporary challenge or a life-altering case of the “needs,” you can lean into the adventure of accepting assistance, knowing that–for a while, anyway–it’s your privilege to make someone happy to help you.
Want more where this came from? Check out the very first post (Your Epic Adventure Starts Here), where you’ll learn about starting your own quest to practice living a life of adventure. As a bonus, you will also find the backstory for that ridiculous herd of buffalo on the blog button of the home page on this website…