I hear it again and again and again: “I have needs that are not being met and I don’t know what to do.” “I feel unsupported, even though I’m always there for others.” “My life is so hard and I don’t understand why no one is helping me.”
If you feel unsupported, have you asked this one VITAL question?
This post may come off a little more like a rant than a reasoned discourse. While it’s not my intention to offend anyone, if that’s what it takes to help some people wake up so they can get the help and support they need, then that’s what I’ll do.
My intensity on this subject was fueled by a post I saw online the other day. I was on Facebook, scrolling through my newsfeed and soaking in the wisdom and inspiration of the many pages I follow. I stopped cold when I saw a post that said (I’m paraphrasing) …
Sometimes it would be nice if when I say I’m fine, people would give me a hug and say “I know you’re not.”
Thousands of people had clicked “LIKE” on this post and there were dozens and dozens of comments along the lines of “Yes, that would be nice” and “True, but no one ever does this for me.”
Somewhere in our lives, a lot of us got stuck in the idea that we are not allowed to express our needs. We believe aren’t allowed to tell people when we need help or when we’re feeling low, yet we still expect them to know. We hope that someone … anyone … will just show up and see our plight, giving us the help or comfort we crave even though we’re denying those needs with the words we utter to them.
People, people, people … it’s time we learned that if we need help or if we need comforting, then we need to step up and ask for it. Will we always get it? Maybe not. Yet, why continue to play this game of making our friends and loved ones ”guess” what we need? Why keep saying “I’m fine” when you’re really, really not? It’s a crummy game that doesn’t help you and isn’t fair to them.
It’s okay to admit you’re going through a rough patch.
You’re human and we humans go through rough patches.
It’s okay to admit you need help. We are on this planet to help one another. Though you may have been a giver all your life, there will be times when you need to receive.
I’m not advocating dumping out all your problems on everyone everywhere you go. Frankly, you wouldn’t be much fun to be around, plus not everyone can help you, so it’s inappropriate to share all your burdens with people who cannot help you lighten the load.
I’m also not advocating going around emitting negative energy wherever you go by always pronouncing every low point in your life. That’s not helping you and it’s certainly not going to attract a loving response from others … it’s more likely to push them away.
What am I advocating?
If you’re going through a low patch and someone asks you how you are, it’s okay to say “I could use a hug.” You don’t have to amplify beyond those words if you don’t want to … that simple gesture allows people to know that you could use some extra TLC.
If you’re struggling with a problem and people ask you how you are, it’s okay to say “I’m dealing with this challenge right now, do you have any ideas for me?” Even better, don’t wait until they ask … if you need help, be proactive about seeking it.
You won’t always receive the help you need from the people you ask for help. Sometimes they can’t help. Sometimes they just won’t help. Yet, most of your friends and loved ones want to be there for you to support you and love you … just as you have loved and supported them.
Note I didn’t say “family” … I said loved ones. We all know that a blood relationship is no guarantee of love and support. Stop “shoulding” on family members by thinking they “should” help you. Some people just aren’t wired to be helpers (you don’t have to continue to let them be takers either … but that’s another conversation for another time).
Remember: asking others to read your mind is asking too much.Clairvoyance is not all that prevalent. Don't expect people to know what you need!Click To Tweet
Step up. Ask for what you need.
Related Recommended Reading:
The Assertiveness Guide for Women How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships