I have seen a few people on social media asking for help and it makes me happy to see this.
I’m not happy that they have yucko problems in their life but instead that they are saying, “I can’t get a job, I can’t pay my rent, my kid is talking about hurting himself,” and that people are prepared to go to the wider community and ask for help, advice, ideas and solutions.
Isn’t that a marvellous thing?
Most people like being asked for advice. Lived experience is everything and while it’s not great to be going through shit times, you will find, as I have since becoming a crone, that everyone gets a turn at a shit time and sometimes you can help people with their shit time by talking about what got you through your shit time.
The thing to remember about asking for help is that no one is actually judging you. They don’t want to see you upset or worried or whatever. They want to help you. They really do. I promise.
This week I saw someone on Facebook trying to sell a Persian rug to make her rent. The first part of the sentence is nothing unusual, but the fact she wrote that she needed it so she wouldn’t be evicted was brave. It was powerful. It was real. Of course she sold that rug 100 times, and people refused to take the rug, so she still has the rug and now her rent and she knows she is loved and that people will step up for her.
This is when social networks work well. Reaching out to others and asking for assistance instead of Boasty McBoasterson.
But sometimes shame is so pervasive that people can’t ask for her, but you can. You must. Always.
I have friends and some family members who are wonderful, helpful, generous souls, who have helped me financially and emotionally. They have invested in my life in every way and I have done the same for them and will do again if they need it and vice vera. Quid pro quo and all that.
Some people think asking for help is a sign of weakness, but dammit, it’s not. It is the bravest thing you can do. Evolutionary psychology taught us that by asking for help we were admitting we were weak and this would risk us being demoted in our hierarchy or even kicked out of the tribe.
However, love is more important now. We don’t need to lose our place in the tribe by asking for help in catching something for dinner because we’re sick, or tired or haven’t got cash to get our spear sharpened. There is more than enough to go around and people want to share. If you can’t ask for help, then remind yourself we aren’t in caveman times anymore.
People have resources, and lived experience, and ideas, and a lasagna and some cash and they know someone who might need someone to do some work for them, and they might want to buy the rug you are selling. Just ask. You will be surprised by the help that is there for you.
Have a lovely weekend.