3 Things That Happen When You Let Others Help You
Just wait until the sun sets, we’ll run back out there and get some even better shots!
Camera in hand, Courtney was clearly excited. She kept glancing out the window to her backyard where the blue sky was slowly warming to a pinkish-orange hue, making sure we didn’t miss the sunset’s peak.
We had been planning on doing dinner together later that night, then a couple days before, I texted her to see if maybe I could come a little early and she might be willing to help me get a few photos I needed for an upcoming blog post. Now here we were, having taken the time to get the photos I had in mind and Courtney’s mind was still turning, eagerly brainstorming ideas for additional creative shots.
Even though friends have been nothing but willing whenever I’ve asked for help with something having to do with my blog, I guess it still surprises me a little when they are. I guess, to some degree, I’m always a little hesitant to ask because I don’t want to impose something that feels like my own little project on someone else’s time. I tell myself I should take care of it on my own, in my own time, and that while others will obviously receive the end result (hi, friends!), I shouldn’t expect them to take part in the process. And it’s true—expectation should definitely never be part of the equation. But, while my hesitancy to ask for help with blog photos is a silly example, I think it speaks to something deeper most of us have felt at one point or another:
I think this comes from a well-meaning place—we feel like we don’t want to impose ourselves on others or come across as needy or that we don’t want to make things too much about ourselves. But I just don’t think that’s accurate. Instead, I’m learning more and more that in the same way I love to feel helpful and needed in other people’s lives, other people love to feel helpful and needed too—and sometimes that means in mine.
The point is that we need each other—we were created to—in every aspect of life. This doesn’t make us needy, it makes us human—and healthy ones at that as we’re able to humbly recognize that need. Part of loving others means giving of your support, time, and resources—and part of receiving the love of others means allowing them to do the same for you.
Whether it’s something simple like asking for help with a task or something weightier like asking for help with a struggle you’re going through, next time you’re feeling hesitant to reach out, remember that much good can come from doing so. Below are three examples I’ve noticed from my own life.
1. YOU FEEL MORE KNOWN AND SUPPORTED
Whether it’s a problem you’re going through or a project you’re working on, something special happens when you invite another person into your inner world—you feel known. Maybe the help they offer is something tangible, or some sort of advice or encouragement, or maybe it’s simply giving you space to be heard. Countless times, friends have listened to me process through something or talk about something I’m passionate about, and even though I know it may not be their thing, they happily listen and give my heart space to be heard. When you allow someone to step into your world and help you with something, suddenly they’re sharing in it with you—and there’s nothing like the feeling of being supported and known.
2. THEY EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF HELPING
There I was, worried about imposing on Courtney by asking her to help with my photos but as it turned out, not only was she willing to help, she was excited. Later that night as we hung out, she kept saying how happy she was that I was happy with how the photos turned out. I think in part that’s because Courtney is a very caring person, but I also think it speaks to innate desire we all have to feel like we’re able to offer to the lives of those around us. I’m not saying people are going to be jumping up and down every time you ask them to help—especially if you start treating it like an expectation, there’s a chance they may feel taken advantage of. But I am saying that generally speaking, where you’re nervous to ask for help, people are often a lot more willing than you may think.
3. TOGETHER, YOU'RE EVEN BETTER
Even in seemingly individual pursuits like blogging where you tend to be writing from a very personal perspective, no one is good as an island. That’s why some of my favorite blogging moments have been those when I’ve gotten to link arms with others to collaborate in a way that plays to both mine and the other person’s creative strengths—it’s so much FUN. When you let other’s help you, you gain support, accountability, new perspective, and fresh ideas—and you’re better for it. The relationship is better for it too—because when you’re willing to be vulnerable in asking for help, it builds a bond that draws you closer together.
Here’s to continually growing in our ability to selflessly love those around us, as well as in our ability to allow others to do the same.