Some people say that asking for help is the hardest thing. That's only half true. Sometimes the hardest thing about help, is accepting it. Here's a look at the all of the barriers of accepting help and what you can do to overcome them.

Patience is a virtue

To explain the first barrier to help, we can draw from the analogy of the T.V. repairman. Like the repairman, you expect him to show up on your schedule, but he never does. So you wait and wait and wait, until eventually, you give up on him and go run the errands that you postponed for his arrival. Of course, the second that you leave, is when he finally arrives. Then you have to schedule another time to meet up.

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The fault in this scenario lies as much with the person asking for help as it does with the T.V. repair guy. The repair guy showed up late, but he did show up. On the other hand the person waiting to get their T.V. fixed bailed on the appointment. So in that light, you really can't blame the repairman. He did his job. Maybe if the customer had more patience, their T.V. would have been fixed. Instead, the customer now has to wait on another appointment and hope that there is one available. That is the fallacy of the first barrier. It's giving up too soon and sometimes this can produce a lifetime of hurt, because often times there may not be a next appointment at all. So, you're best bet is to keep on hoping and keep your appointment no matter how long it takes.

Sight unseen

Another barrier to receiving help is not recognizing the help when it arrives.

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Help isn't always obvious. Sometimes it can be well hidden and at times indistinguishable from hurt. You can't judge it based on what it wears, how it speaks, or how it's presented to you. You just have to know that when it arrives, that it's there. For many people, this is difficult. Sometimes a person can be so used to seeing the same thing over and over again, that they begin to filter everything in that light. Things are either all black or all white and there is no in between. So when help comes, that person sees the help as another trick, because that is what that person has become accustomed to seeing. Their filter is broken, which causes their vision and judgment to be distorted, which leads to missed opportunities. This may be the most frustrating part of not being able to accept help. The person sincerely wants it. The person sincerely needs it, but the person does not have the ability to recognize it when it comes. The way to overcome this is to be cautious, but keep your eyes and your heart open.

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The aftermath of unaccepted help

There are always unintended consequences when help is either turned down, not recognized, or forfeited. First, it can turn the person off who has gone out of their way to help you. This, is never the intended result of the person who needs said help. They want the help around, but because of a wrong mindset, they are unable to accept it. This is especially true if the person who helped them experienced some sort of backlash as a result of reaching out. That can result in feelings of guilt on the part of the part of the person who has missed the help and feelings of anger on the part of the person who offered the help, which is bad all the way around.

The second unintended cause is that the person who needs the help can become bitter because they feel like they never receive the help they need at the moment they need it. This may or may not be true, but that person needs someone to blame for their circumstance and they outwardly project that anger onto the person that they feel should have helped more. While it sucks to blow a good opportunity, it is important to remember that these things do happen and to give yourself a break. It's also important to try to keep your eyes open for when the cavalry comes through the next time. Just remember that things can be black or white. The fallacy comes in when you believe things are either all black or all white.

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