Oh, hello! Come in and have coffee and a sticky bun.
Sorry for the title. I may have been channeling Brigit Jones…
I say that this is more for the single folks than for people who have a partner, but perhaps it’s just because that is the perspective from which I am writing. IDK. You can judge for yourself.
Most of the time, I consider myself self-sufficient. I guess I have to be, since there isn’t anyone there to do “it” for me. I am responsible for my bills, for my house, and the maintenance of that house, my cats and their upkeep, and on and on. And most of the time, I am fine with that. I have to be, of course, but it really is true.
Then there are other times… I get sick to death of cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, shovelling the snow, doing laundry, etc. But, in my case, there is no one there to pick up the slack for me. This is where the smug marrieds have an advantage. They can look at their partner and ask/beg/nag for help, and there is a probability that the partner will do it, even if it’s not done the way they would want.
But, here is where I feel I need to clarify. I *know* that being part of a couple does not mean that each member of the pair is not self-sufficient. They are (usually).
I’m not saying this very well. But in my usual mode of just putting things out there without spending too much time picking nits, here it is.
My theory is that it is harder for singletons to ask for help than it is for the smug marrieds. And why do I think that? Because I live it. Every. Damn. Day. My feeling is that when I ask someone for help, it becomes another item on their “To Do” list. The people I could ask for help have their own lives and problems and chores and bills. And while that is also true of coupledom, at least the person you might ask for help ALSO has a vested interest in your happiness. They aren’t solely responsible for it, of course, but they see you every day and want what you want. Hopefully.
So, when is it okay to ask for help? I’ve never been clear on when it is appropriate. There have been times in the winter, when I’m out moving snow, that I have just said F*CK IT, and flagged down a passing truck with a plow and begged them to clear my driveway. But then, I am throwing money at them, so it is win-win.
Overall, I suck at asking for help. I get frustrated, then overwhelmed, then turn into a sobbing mess, and come out the other side a little bruised, but moving forward anyway. I could maybe avoid all that by asking for help sooner, but how do I ask without it being an imposition? Without becoming a nuisance? Without appearing weak? Without feeling indebted?
What do *you* do? Do you ask for help? How did you learn to do it or is it something that comes naturally?