Just Ask

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I’ve noticed another common problem among many people.  We seem to have an aversion to asking when we need help or have trouble receiving generous gifts or offers of help, especially if we feel like it’s an imposition on the person giving.  Of course there are some people out there who have completely shut off any concern for the comfort or desires of others and have no problem taking things or help if they want it.  But for most of us, we seem to experience some concern that we are being a burden on others if we ask for things or need help.  Particularly for people who have the gift of giving.  When giving is something that makes you feel good and helping others is a natural response for you, sometimes it can be hard to receive the same treatment from others.

I’ve had occasions where I have gone to lunch with some of my team leaders with LegalShield, which is my Legal Services business I have on the side (see “Top Income Suggestion” at the bottom of the page for more information).  We often go out to eat together after attending some kind of big conference or business briefing.  However, I was on the low income side of the spectrum, just a baby on the rank scale so to speak, so I didn’t feel comfortable spending money on a nice lunch.  When the team invites me to lunch, I already know they plan on going some place really fancy.  We’re talking the kind of lunch where each entree costs around $60-$80 per person.  I didn’t want to ask them to pay for me, but I did want to go, so of course I reluctantly admitted that I couldn’t pay for it, so they offered to cover me.  Even though I know that my team leaders are full blown millionaires within the company and can easily afford to buy me such a nice lunch, I still felt bad that I couldn’t pay for myself and needed help if I was going to be able to participate.  I couldn’t help but almost feel ashamed that I couldn’t take care of myself in that instance and felt like I was a troublesome burden to have to be covered by more capable people.

Injured Piggy Bank WIth Crutches

However, those feelings are outright lies and have no right to make me feel that way.  I know that my team leaders are adults who can make their own decisions.  I know that they do not consider it a burden to pay for me, it wasn’t even a difficult gift for them.  I also know that they wanted me to join them.  There is nothing about the situation at all that would warrant me feeling like a burden.  So why does that happen? Why is it, when we are offered something nice, or put in a position where we must ask others for help or to be gracious to us, do we feel like doing so makes us a burden and puts a terrible imposition on others?  They can say no if it really is a problem, but generally speaking, we only make it a problem in our own minds.

Think about when you offer to help someone in need or give a really nice gift.  Have you seen the person on the receiving end of your offer suddenly feel hesitant to receive it, or like they are unworthy or couldn’t ask you to do something so nice?  How would you feel if your gift was genuinely rejected or couldn’t be enjoyed because of that person’s insecurities?  We need to remember that gratefully receiving gifts and help is the same as giving a gift in itself.  People give to others because they want to.  There’s a wonderful sense of compassion and joy that comes from giving.  So, by receiving a gift, you are giving the gift of satisfaction to the giver.  You are completing the action that makes both people feel good about what has happened, but only if you can let go of any silly notions that they are giving out of obligation.  Most people are not obligated to give things to you, so stop treating them as if they think you are a burden.  You are not a burden, you are someone they value.

Give people a chance to be the adults they are and say no if they don’t feel like doing something.  Give them that chance by asking first.  If people say yes, it is because they want to help you.  If they say no, then you are no worse off than you were before you asked.  Be a cheerful giver AND receiver.  These actions are a reward to both sides.

 

James 4:2-3 (NASB)

2You lust and do not have, so you commit murder.  You are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.  You do not have because you do not ask.  3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

 

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One thought on “Just Ask

  1. This particular post hits home for me. I have discovered recently that one of my personality traits is being generous. I genuinely enjoy and relish the opportunity to give to other people, especially when it is something they have been wanting for a while or cant find or get for themselves. I like being able to help people and show them how much I value them and care for them. In your particular situation, if I were the ones on the giving end, I would be doing it because the company of the receiver was far more valuable to me than the $60-$80 meal. Meaning, that I would much rather pay for the meal and get the company than save the money and not include them.
    On the opposite end, though, I like to think of myself as someone who is always adding value to a friendship or relationship. So to take the help of others is very difficult. However, you did a great job of showing how you can add value by receiving as well. They say that it is better to give than to receive and I believe it. I feel like my life has only been improved on those occasions that I have been able to give to others, so why would I want to take that opportunity from those around me by not receiving. I have worked very hard to put my energy of guilt or resistance into the more positive energy of appreciation and acceptance when it comes to receiving a gift. I am definitely not perfect at it, but I am getting better and that is all anyone can hope for.