It’s hard to accept help when you’re too competitive, proud, concerned, or insecure to take it.
My husband and I have this little arrangement. He does the dishes on Monday and Tuesday nights, and I do them on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are up for grabs.
Lately, though, he’s been pulling this trick on me. It will be 9:30 PM on Thursday night (my night), and he’ll say, “You go on, honey. I’ll wash the dishes tonight.” At first, I’d be all relieved about it, but then I’d realize that might mean he’d be loving me more than I’m loving him, so I’d put a stop to his generosity and get the dishes done.
I’m not sure if my line of thinking comes from my competitive nature or my desire to not owe anyone for anything. If it’s competitiveness, then I guess that’s not a bad thing to compete on—who’s going to love the other person the best. But if it’s from a desire to not owe anything or to not impose, then there might be a character flaw in there that needs some attention.
This all got me thinking about reasons why people don’t ask for help or are reluctant to accept help when it’s offered to them.
I once went to a small pool party at new friend’s house. As I entered the backyard, her dog jumped up and bit me. It hurt like the dickens, but I didn’t say a word.
No screech. No ouch. No anything.
Instead I quietly excused myself the first chance I got and went to examine the bite. It didn’t break the skin, but it left this horrible bruise. I finally decided to mention the “attack” because a person should know if their dog’s tasted human flesh, right?
At first, the owner didn’t believe me because who gets bitten and doesn’t say anything immediately? I didn’t want her to feel bad. But the need to protect the next unsuspecting pool visitor from Cujo propelled me to full disclosure. I finally had to lift my shorts and show everyone to convince them. Not my proudest moment. I left wondering if maybe I had it wrong—not asking for help—worrying about how bad she might feel instead of how much pain I was in.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever not spoken up and asked for help when you probably should have?
Recently, I’ve decided to take my blog posts in a different direction. One of the reasons I write and love fiction is because I believe the stories can help us grow. It’s not an escape for me. It’s an exercise in observation. So, I’ve decided to move my blog toward fiction, but not just any fiction.
I’m going to write a short story to accompany my blog posts—an example of the thing I just talked about. These stories will simply be a picture in time of an event in someone’s life. And hopefully, these word pictures will give you something to think about.
So, here’s my first story. It’s called A Cracked Shell, and it’s about a boy who hesitates to call for help and what he discovers about himself in the process.