What People Struggle With
Asking For Help
Asking another person for help is really difficult for a lot of people. Instead of asking for assistance they may avoid the problem, trying to do everything themself (even when this is unrealistic) and neglect their own well being. They become isolated from other people and overwhelmed by having to do everything alone.
When help is offered accepting this help can still be difficult. We also live in an individualistic culture that emphasises independence rather than a community and support. These factors can leave people declining help when it is offered and continuing to struggle alone.
Saying no is also an important part of asking for what you need. When you say no, you are letting the other person know that you need something different to what they are asking of you in that moment. Saying no also establishes boundaries between what you need and what others are wanting from you.
Expressing What They Need
For some people they become so focused on others that they don’t even know what they need anymore. They feel uncertain about what they require so expressing that to others seems almost impossible. They second guess themselves and feel overly influenced by the opinion of others.
Feeling Guilty For Having Needs
Some people have been taught that being self-reliant is a positive things and needing others is weakness. When needs do emerge they are accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame. These emotions often block a person from reaching out and asking for help.
Why People Might Struggle With It.
Expecting That They Wont Receive What They Need
If someone has had experiences of not having their needs met by others, they may come to expect this to continue happening. They believe that “even if you ask you probably won’t get what you need so why bother”. This then can develop into a pattern of extreme independence and avoiding healthy reliance on others.
They Have Always Taken Care Of Others
Some people might look back over their life and see that they have always been in a role where they are taking care of others. It may have started as taking care of their siblings or their parents and then spread to looking after their friends and partners. Relationships become formed around the person playing the role of caregiver for the other. People can feel stuck in this role and not able to ask for what they need and express themselves.
Feel Responsible For The Other Person
When someone is always taking care of other people they can start to feel responsible for the other person. When the other person is upset or angry they feel that they need to fix it or make it better. At times people within a relationship will have conflicting needs. If someone feels responsible for the other person expressing his or her own needs can feel really hard to do.
It’s Hard To Rely On Others
Relying on others takes away some of the control people may feel in any given situation and can leaving people feeling vulnerable and exposed. When someone has had experiences of being rejected, abandoned or neglected by others people, allowing themself to get close and be reliant can feel really frightening. When it is hard to rely on others people may try to meet their own needs rather than asking for what they want from someone else.
Ashamed Of Having Needs
For some people having needs is associated with weakness. This weakness often comes with shame. These difficult emotions can reinforce the desire to be strong and independent as way of avoiding the shame.
If you are struggling to ask for what you need and noticing it is having a negative impact on your relationships and on yourself therapy might be able to help. Call or send me an email to arrange an appointment.