Life’s been busy as a human lately, if not as a blogger. As I thought back on the two weeks I’ve had between Hat posts, though, one trend stood out: I’ve seen the power of asking come up again and again, and I’ve noticed that asking for what I need (and giving what I can when others asks) makes for a better relationship with money and with my community.
Since my last post, I’ve received two care packages, one with a gorgeous purse and one with an adorable pair of shoes from two separate women whom I’ve never met. We had nothing in common save for our alma mater and the fact that we like gifting economies. I worked a wedding vendor showcase with my wedding photographer–I lent a hand to help her incredible business, got to know her better, and learned a new set of skills– because she asked. I was able to put together a network of supports for a friend having a tough time and surround her with a caring community who was ready to give…because I asked. It was a hell of a two weeks.
There are millions of reasons why we keep our needs to ourselves. We’re proud, we’re ashamed, we think we don’t deserve or shouldn’t ask for help. If you’re brave enough to take the plunge, though, the power of asking might just turn your life around.
- Asking for what you need builds social bonds. For the most part, people are good. We like to give, and we remember the times we were able to give and the people we gave to fondly. Am I saying you should demand help from your family and friends as a way to strengthen your relationships? Of course not. If you take a true inventory of your life, though, and realize that a well placed extended hand could change everything (or change something small that gives you the motivation to change everything), what’s the harm in asking for that hand? Hopefully you’re living in a way that your network would already love to support. It’s okay to let them know how.
- Creating a culture of asking makes others more likely to give. Giving is contagious. Harvard research even says so. When we ask for help, and when we give help, we’re acknowledging that we’re all interconnected. That reminder lasts longer than any individual exchange, and it starts a chain reaction that strengthens our communities.
- Asking for help is an act of self-love. Stick with me here. I honestly believe that most of us reject the idea of asking for help or asking for what we want because we think we don’t deserve to get it. The moment that you say to yourself and to your network that you’re willing to graciously accept help is the moment when you own your own value. When you get the chance to contribute back to your community to honor what you gained, you’ll feel your self-esteem rise even more.
I said at the beginning of this post that it was the people I engaged in asking with (whether I gave or received) who stood out to me when I reflected on my life lately. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
It’s Sunday night now. What can you ask for next week that would change the next fourteen days for you? What can you give? Who will look back on you in two week’s times?