Time after time I meet people who are afraid to share their quandaries. Keeping problems to ourselves is about as much use as half a scissor and causes a lot of suffering.
Recently I was visiting a pal and she lamented, “Keeping house is hard for me, my brain just doesn’t seem to be wired for it.” I muttered, “I really like organising things, it makes me super happy, can I help you get sorted?” It was hard for her to say yes. I could tell, partly because I have 20 years of training in communication and also because she said, “It’s very hard for me to say yes to your help.” But she opened her heart anyway and we’ve spent several days sorting and donating and cleaning. She has a new baby so I hold things up, she points to the correct pile and baby sighs and sleeps. It’s an awesome arrangement for everyone.
Years ago I read a piece of research that completely changed my view on asking for help. Scientists discovered that when we allow someone to be kind to us they receive an amazing flood of happy hormones. To make the exchange even more wonderful, you, the receiver snaps up an avalanche of happy hormones too! Isn’t that swell? But there’s more! Anyone that witnesses the exchange gets a boost of joy too! Life doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Now, I’m not advocating snivelling and moaning about things we can’t change like Donald Trump’s comb-over. But when we have a fair dinkum dilemma it’s worth partnering with a trusted buddy to map our way forward. And there’s no need to feel bad about it because they hit the chemical mother load when you accept their help. Imagine what would happen to sales of anti-depressants if we gathered around the sad folk and said, “Would you mind giving me a hand?”
With respect and love,