By: Anja Uitdehaag

I’ve been uncomfortable receiving and asking for help as long as I can remember.

My whole life I’ve been a person who thought I was being strong by doing everything on my own, even if it meant doing it with struggle.

For me “I can do it myself!” is somehow a much more instinctual reaction than “thank you”.

There are many reasons that it may be hard to accept support. But one of the main reasons is the fear that those who are offering support don’t really mean it. Will they feel put upon if you accept?

Everyone needs help now and then. No one can — or should — handle everything alone.

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have people in your life who see what you need and offer to help before you ask. Usually it’s a parent or a close friend. But sometimes when we need help, we have to ask. The best approach is to be clear and direct, like saying, “I’m having trouble with this. Can you help me?”

Moving from feeling overwhelmed to actually asking and accepting help can be extremely challenging; especially for those of us who believe that seeking help undermines our independence and our ability to cope.

I have learned that most people really do enjoy giving. Accepting support can strengthen friendships and relationships. Everyone feels good when they can support a friend!

Because it can be hard to reach out for help, don’t hesitate to reach out and offer support to another person if you think he or she needs it.

Giving and receiving support are great life skills to learn. They help us learn character qualities like empathy and generosity.

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