People like to feel needed. It’s what makes them human and what connects them to one another.
The idea for this article came to me when an elderly woman stood next to me asked me to pass her the bag that she had left on my right side. An avalanche of mixed feelings came to me. On the one hand, I felt honoured that she gave me a reason to feel helpful and needed and it prompted me to think about the power of this request.
I used to ask for a lot of help when I was little, manly because I was lazy to do things for myself. Then, I became aware of the power of hard work and took the opposite attitude of doing everything myself. While I felt quite good for being able to increase my work ethic and being able to control everything, I soon realised I needed help to do what I do better. So, I started asking for help and felt very grateful for receiving it every time I needed it.
Don’t discourage yourself in asking for help thinking that you’re dropping the weight on someone else. Naturally, efficient people like to feel busy but not everyone has enough of a leadership mentality to conjure up projects or things of give themselves jobs to do. So, by asking for help, you not only give people something to do, but you also give them meaning, a benefactor purpose (that of helping you). Essentially, you help them grow while you help yourself grow.
There is something magical in asking for help. It helps you connect with people, express your needs to them and also make them realise how powerful they are (they have the power to do something that, for various reasons, you cannot). The asking for help acts as a liaison between the helped and the helper. It brings about feelings of gratitude and appreciation from the person receiving the help and feelings of compassion and empathy from the person offering it. It’s a sincere and unique relationship that forms from this situation in which the two subjects meet: one needs the other and he or she opens up about it. Most importantly, the act of asking for help gives rise to trust, as one puts all his or her trust that the other person will do their bet to help them. It’s astonishing to think that the act of asking for help is so powerful in bringing unrelated and unconnected people together.
Even in the case of friendship where the act of giving and receiving help is expected, once friends help each other their bond grows even stronger. Acknowledging that they depend upon each other to do something better, to progress and prosper, makes people to experience a stronger sense of attachment towards one another and, therefore, is such a beautiful part of human interconnectedness.