We are not meant to go through hardships alone.  It troubles me that so many of us are reluctant to let others know when we are going through one of life’s challenges.  We feel good about ourselves when we help others, but when it comes to asking for emotional support for ourselves, we shy away.  Instead, we suffer silently, put up an impenetrable wall and try to weather life’s storms all by ourselves.

Here are six of the reasons we do not open up to others, along with some questions that we might want to ask ourselves.

I don’t want to burden anyone.

Do I consider others to be a burden when they ask me for help?

I am embarrassed or ashamed.

When others come to you for help, is this how you want them to feel?

I feel like a failure.

Does failing at something make someone a failure?

My friends might reject me.

Do you reject your friends when they ask for help?

I don’t want others to feel sorry for me or think I am weak.

When you help others, do you think they are weak?  Do you pity them?

I should be smart enough and strong enough, to handle this on my own.

What are your thoughts about others who ask you for help?

These questions were designed to help you take a deeper look at why you don’t ask others for help.  Based on your answers, you may realize you have some unconscious judgements about people who ask for help.  Intellectually, we may understand that people who ask for help are not weak or a failure and we know that everyone needs help occasionally, so why is it so difficult for some of us to ask for help when we need it?

I am not proposing we talk to everyone we know about our personal struggles; we do need to use discretion.  But, we miss opportunities to connect with others on a soul level when we only let them see a one or two dimensional representation of who we really are.  The desire to do everything ourselves is not bad or wrong.  However, when we allow others to see our humanness and open ourselves to their encouragement and support, it can make our problems seem much lighter and not so impossible to overcome.

We are here to help each other.  Get off the mental merry-go-round, set your pride aside and reach out to someone you trust.  Why go through challenges alone when there are so many people around you who would be honored to help you.

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