Letting People Help You is Letting People Love You

Letting People Help You Is Letting People Love You

Written by Judy Klipin

Adult children often prefer to be a helper rather than a helpee.  We find it easier to be helpful – sometimes we even feel the need to be indispensable so that we are not forgotten about – than to allow ourselves to be helped.

Adult children struggle to ask for help. 

We think that maybe the request will be ignored, rejected or scorned.  Maybe we will be seen to be weak.  Maybe we will let down our guard and be hurt.

Or, more likely, we don’t think at all. We are so used to looking after ourselves and everyone around us that it just does not occur to us to ask for help.

Adult children struggle to accept help.

Sometimes, actually often, we actively turn down offers of assistance.  We don’t want to appear weak.  Or needy. Or incapable.  We need to keep up the pretence of being able to look after ourselves and everyone else, even when that is not true.

I once spent two weeks on a study tour in Denmark with 14 policemen (which is a whole other story for another day).  Every morning I came down from my hotel room, struggling to carry my somewhat bulky suitcase.  Every morning 14 big strong men offered assistance.  Every morning I turned down their offers to help me with my baggage (pun intended).  Had I accepted, I would have avoided a lot of back pain, and been able to build stronger and more reciprocal relationships with the colleagues I was making it so hard to grow a team with.

We can be so attached to our own hardships and the unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns that perpetuate them, that we can’t allow ourselves to put down that burden by asking for – and accepting – help that is available to us.

We reject ourselves as well as the people trying to help us.

Think about how you feel when you want to help someone and they won’t let you.  It feels very frustrating and hurtful.  Because when we want to help someone we really  want to give them something, be it love, approval, or support.  We want to show that we are noticing and appreciating them.

You know how much you like to help others – how about sharing the joy and letting them help you sometimes?

Because when we let people help us, we are letting them love us.    

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3 people commented on this

Such an important lesson! Allow the love. Thanks Judy.

Thanks Catherine – Allow the love. Love it! 🙂

[…] And Moms, when he offers to help, say yes. As South African life coach, Judy Klipin pointed out in this post, letting people help you is letting people love you. 2. Make it a priority to add at least one […]

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