Communicator though I am, I have my issues, too.
Sometimes when faced with a problem that seems beyond my reach, I’ll actually *gasp* ask for help. That’s great; after all, haven’t I espoused–right here in this blog–knowing your limits and reaching out to those whose strengths complement your weaknesses? The issue is that I often don’t wait for the help I’ve summoned. I dive in and work to figure it out myself.
Like the time I was faced with a tax issue that didn’t make sense to me. I asked a couple of accountants, but before they could get back to me, I worked it out myself.
Or the time I needed to redirect a URL to another domain. I put out a cry for help, but before I could sit down with my expert friend, I had it all worked out.
I could go on, but you see the pattern. These scenarios happen more often than I’d like to admit.
Here’s my problem. I think it’s fine to ask for help. I also think it is admirable to work things out for myself. Either one is a great way to solve a problem. Is it such a good idea to keep a foot in both camps, though? If I ask for help, I should probably give the person the opportunity to deliver. If I were in his place, I’d probably find that insulting–or at least annoying.
I’m not sure why the cry for help dislodges my logjam of thought and allows me to proceed on my own. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to look as if I don’t know something. Maybe it’s because it turns my issue into a competition to finish first. Maybe it’s just cathartic.
Whatever the case, I haven’t been able to solve this one yet. I know I’ll be better for it when I do.
Being able to help someone (for free) is a social bonding experience. It is rarely perceived as weakness, but rather as solidifying in-group affiliation. The need to display independence and autonomy is a strong drive that also has it’s place, but when you ask for help, a person ultimately rises to that occasion not in an effort to fix an abstract or concrete issue, but in an effort to say, “Hey, I care about you, see you as part of my circle, and therefore want to demonstrate my human 21st century version of grooming behavior.” Not allowing them to to then groom you may send a message that you don’t perceive the interpersonal link the same way.