MAKING WAVES COLUMN

Why Does Asking for Help Feel So Bad?

I need to get to the bottom of this

Published in
4 min readMay 14, 2024

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Two women standing with hands intertwined while facing the same direction. The one behind seems to be looking down while biting her lip.
Seattle, WA Summer 2003. Photo by author

Monday, May 13, 2024, 20:44

Asking a store clerk for help or a stranger for directions is not a problem at all. It’s asking for real help on a personal level that gets my panties in a bunch and I know I’m not alone in this.

One of the hardest and best things to me about relationships, whether it’s familial, romantic, or platonic, is how they make you see things about yourself that you would not otherwise see.

The woman in the feature photo for this story is a close friend I have known for almost thirty years. She has taught me more about myself, humanity, the world, and living in general than any of my family members or friends did while I was growing up.

She is not afraid of asking for help, and she is the kind of person I very much enjoy helping because she does a great deal more for others than she does for herself. She appreciates my help, but never takes it for granted.

I have tried to incorporate this quality of hers, asking for help when needed or desired, without feeling like I’m not good enough, less than, weak, or inadequate in some way. Decades later, I’ve gotten better, but I feel light years away from what…

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KL Simmons
The Diarist

Seeking improvement as a writer and human. Email: KLSimmons.medium@gmail.com. Owner of the publications: Taking Off, Pure Fiction and Interracial Relations.