The predominant culture in the Western world tells us that men must be stoic, unemotional, resilient, suave but rugged and above all, self-sufficient. Thankfully this rigid and toxic narrative about masculinity is slowly beginning to change. But many men still have a huge blocker when it comes to accepting help, of any kind. Why is this so difficult for some people? When we need a leg up, or a favor, or just some time from a friend, why does simply asking seem so impossible? The truth is, the strongest among us are the ones who understand their limits and aren’t afraid to ask for support. There are very few big life events that pass without our friends and loved ones having at least some fringe involvement, so is it really such a big deal to ask for a little help when necessary? Or to seek professional support when things go a step further than that? Here’s why accepting assistance is a good thing:
The Person Had Reason To Offer
People don’t just offer specific help to everyone they meet. If you come across a contact at a networking event who offers a promotional opportunity for your start-up business, chances are they do genuinely think it would benefit their customers to know. If a friend wants to do something kind like help you move house, it may be because you’ve helped them out with a big chore in the past. Accepting that people have their own motives to do things and that you aren’t automatically putting them out is really transformative. You and your needs are important, and accepting help is a way to acknowledge that. As long as you return help when someone else needs it, there’s no sense denying yourself just to prove a ridiculous point.
Going It Alone Isn’t Good For You
At the most basic level, humans are pack animals. We co-operate and we support each other instinctively. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being independent, equally you have to know where to draw the line. Sometimes in life we need a professional. That counselling session after a bad relationship breakup or the attorney who will take on your injury case from motorcycle accident can be essential to help you move past a setback properly and go on with your life. If things are left without being completely dealt with because you were determined to go it alone, they are only more likely to resurface later and in more harmful ways.
You’re Likely To Get Helped Again
Often we mistakenly think we should ‘save’ help for when it’s really needed – but actually, someone is far more likely to help you again if they’ve done so in the past. People usually feel more invested in your success if they’ve contributed to it in some way – it validates their own choices and gives them that feelgood glow – and that can be addictive. You see, our brains are hardwired to respond to altruism, producing feelgood chemicals that raise our self-esteem and perception of the world – and once that helpful connection is made, they are likely to want to help again. As long as you don’t get to taking advantage of the situation, there’s a benefit for them too.