Posted by: 4whateveritsworth | June 13, 2011

Why is it Difficult to Accept Assistance?

I was thinking recently about how often I’ve spoken with friends during challenging times and they won’t readily depend upon friends and family for the help that is offered.

And, while I am surprised by their actions, I also recognize that, I, too, won’t quickly accept assistance.  But, why is that? Why is it so hard to just say “yes”?  Is it that we feel we can handle it all, or that we’re too proud to admit that we can’t? Or that we feel as if we are imposing? On the flip side, sometimes I’ve thought it’s easiest not to offer my assistance, but instead just jump in and help.  Maybe it’ll remind the friend that the offer is sincere.

This article in the New York Times, You Look Great’ and Other Lies,while not limited to the topic of accepting assistance, covers some related topics.  The author, Bruce Feiler,  having dealt with a cancer diagnosis and the challenges that followed, addresses the do’s and don’ts of what gestures are helpful and which are often annoying.  It’s not always easy finding just the right words to say, and certainly everyone responds differently, but this may just make us think a little harder, before we speak.  Be sure to read the comments that follow the article for some additional perspectives.

Until my next post, 4 whatever it’s worth…..



  1. Maybe we have been brought up to believe we can do it alone – and that we should not rely on others. At times I have to remember that in accepting help, I am giving another person the opportunity to do some good.

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