When someone offers to assist you with something, whether it’s a work project, mowing the lawn or cleaning up the dishes after dinner, it’s easy to instinctively turn them down. Even if you know they’re well-meaning, a person throwing their generosity your way can make you feel uncomfortable, though you might not know why.
It’s alright to enjoy being independent, but routinely refusing help can leave you feeling exhausted and cause you to drift away from loved ones. Let’s take a look at why accepting help is so hard and explore ways you can start receiving, and even asking for, the help you need.
Why Is Accepting Help So Hard?
Most people genuinely enjoy lending others a helping hand. It feels good to support the people you care about through acts of kindness. So why is it hard to accept those same acts of kindness yourself? There are a few possible reasons.
If you’re the kind of person who works hard to appear strong and independent, accepting help could make you feel vulnerable and conflict with your sense of self. You may think that accepting help would make you weak or indicate a failure on your part. In reality, though, giving and receiving help is part of the human social experience and doesn’t reflect on your strength or weakness.
You may also struggle to accept help if you feel like you don’t deserve it. If you struggle with low self-esteem, you might feel guilty for accepting help or worry about imposing on others. This can cause you to bottle up your feelings and endure problems on your own, rather than ask for the help you need.
Finally, you might resist help if you don’t believe you need it. This is common for people struggling with mental health problems. A person with depression might justify or deny their experience to avoid seeking help. Similarly, a person with an addiction might not want to believe their addiction is impacting their life. In these cases, it’s important to listen to the people offering help to gain a realistic perspective. They’re reaching out because they care and because they believe it’s necessary.
How Can You Get Better at Accepting Help?
Wherever it comes from, the impulse to reject assistance can have consequences for your health and relationships. Here’s the good news, though: It’s possible for anyone to get better at accepting help from others. Take a look at these ways you can begin to let others in:
- Find the source of your discomfort: Ask yourself why you dislike asking for help. Is it your pride? Did you have a bad experience asking for help in the past? Once you understand the source of your discomfort, you can begin challenging it.
- Consider the other side: Before you reject someone’s offer to help, consider how you would feel in their position. If you like helping people, think of accepting help as a chance to give others that same opportunity.
- Reach out to a professional: If your inability to accept help is a persistent source of distress in your life, or if you’re struggling with a serious concern like addiction, consider reaching out to a professional. It’s their job to help people, so you may feel more comfortable receiving the support you need if you work with them.
Get Help With Addiction Recovery
Allowing others to help you can feel like a challenge. But learning to ask for support is an important part of Recovery. You don’t have to feel pressured to overcome addiction on your own.
At 7 Summit Pathways, we provide evidence-based treatment and individualized support throughout the Recovery process. To learn more or to schedule an appointment for yourself or someone you know, reach out to us today.