I got this lesson two years ago, but am only just trying to use it in my life today for the first time.
I think it’s a universal trait that people are helpful. Wikipedia says probably. Perhaps it was selected for via evolution. Maybe it’s a Golden Rule type scenario. Theories abound but I think the truth remains.
I think people especially want to be helpful to the people in their lives. Family, friends, co-workers. People like having good relationships. People wish for good things to happen to people they love. People like to help people they like and know.
I think a lot of times though, you care about people, but you don’t really know exactly what to do for them. We are 10 days from Christmas. It’s sort of like wanting to give someone a present for Christmas, but you don’t really know what the top item on their wish list is. You want to give it to them, especially if it’s in your budget, if only you knew what it was!
It’s also like seeing a stranger fall down right in front of you in public. In your first reaction, you think they probably hurt themselves. I think most people’s first reaction is to help. But wait, did they actually hurt themselves? Are they okay? What did they hurt? What do I do? Oh crap, I don’t know first aid – that stupid class was like 10 years ago! Where’s my phone? Is this bad enough to call 911? Should I? Has someone else done it already? Oh, wait, someone else is already there. Phew, I have no idea what I can add to that situation – it looks like they have it under control – guess it’s all settled then… guess I don’t need to do anything…. (Contrast that with the injured saying, “Call 911 for me!” 10 out of 10 people would do it.)
What about if someone close to you has a pretty big problem that you know about? Let’s say they recently had a very close family member pass. You want to help, but how? Do they need baby sitting? Do they need money? Do they need logistical help, doing research or making phone calls or something? Gosh, you have no idea, so you settle on, “Well, if there’s anything I can do, let me know…” You meant it, but somehow, you never heard from them what you could do for them. Maybe you sent a card or flowers, but you didn’t do much more than that, simply because they never asked for more than that.
So I think it’s a common problem that people want to help, but they aren’t sure what to do.
I also think it’s a common problem that people want to help YOU, but they don’t know what to do for YOU.
So, I think, if a person needs or wants help, that person should make it a point to first, have the courage to tell people you need help, and second, have the courage to tell people how they can help you. Then, instead of just hoping or wishing for help, you may actually get the help you need, and want, from the ones that want to give it to you.
I went to a cool meeting today. It was a bunch of goal oriented people getting together with other goal oriented people, and the whole point was how everyone could help each other get where they wanted to go, together. And everyone had to state what they needed, and how they could help.
So of course I had to sit there and think about not only how I could help – easy – was happy to listen and do what I could, but also had to consider what the hell I needed, and how other people could help me, and tell them that. I never really thought about it in those terms before. And I remembered that people want to help me. I just need to tell them how.
And it gave me the courage to go live with this blog and tell everyone I know about it. Which is terrifying. But here goes nothing.
So hello world – this is my blog. 🙂 I’d like others to read it. You can help – if you like it and want to support me, please subscribe, read, tweet, follow, share, like, and do all the cool social media things all the cool people do, and comment if something speaks to you, or if you have constructive criticism. Would absolutely love to hear it.
This is scary – asking for help. Asking you to check out my work, asking for your energy, time, feedback, and criticism. But…. I think I’ll take the risk. 🙂