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?
2010/07/23 at 8:23 pm
I can’t ask for help either. I want to desperately sometimes. I get so damn tired of having to think and do and go and be everything all the time.
My friend Denise is really good at “bullying” me into accepting help. She doesn’t take no for an answer. She’s been a godsend to me on occasion. Just the simple act of driving when we go out… she, being married, realized that I, being single, ALWAYS HAVE TO DRIVE if I’m going anywhere. She lets me just veg in the passenger seat and I love it.
Pingback: Okay, So Maybe I DO Need A Little Help @ The Daily Snark
2010/07/13 at 4:25 pm
I’m one of those “smug married people” and have been for 11 years. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years and I still rarely ask for help. Even if I need it. Desperately.
Whether it’s help dealing with problems, with money or even moving a piece of furniture. And forget about asking for help around the house. I’d sooner kill myself vacuuming up the dog hair for the third time that day than ask for HELP. I don’t ask my friends to help when I’m struggling either. It’s easier to burrow into my own stuff and push everyone away.
Wanna know why? Because it makes me feel weak. And stupid. And totally helpless. I’m almost 41 and it’s always been that way. I’m working on it, but that whole sobbing mess thing? That’s where it leaves me. *Sigh*