Why Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength and Cooperation
We still reside in a society where strength is defined by doing things independently. Our society tells us that asking for help is to admit that we are weak. Yet did you know that the human body is home to 37.2 trillion cells? These cells cooperate to form organs. Organs ultimately work together to create the human body. It is fascinating how each cell communicates with one another without quarrel or competition. Through a shared biological imperative, our community of cells communicate, share, cooperate, and thrive as one living organism.
“We still hold on to the antiquated notion that we don’t need anyone in our lives to help us remain healthy and strong, let along work through our stressors.”
This is nature’s law of cooperation. Without it, our bodies would cease to exist. Entire ecosystems would fall due to a lack of symbiotic relationships between organisms. Life exists based on cooperation and mutual aid. This is demonstrated in tropical rain forests, Gunpowder State park, and even in your own backyard. Each plant, insect, and species of animal coexists in harmony. However, we still hold on to the antiquated notion that we don’t need anyone in our lives to help us remain healthy and strong, let alone work through our stressors.
The term “self-help” is a misnomer. We do nothing in a vacuum. We were conceived into this world by people. The formation of our personality is influenced by people. Our moods, our successes, our perceived failures, the lessons learned in life – all are based on the relationships we have with others. There are very few things we learn in life that do not involve other people. Even “self-help” books are written by others, and requires an acknowledgement of needing help. Oftentimes, the circumstances that lead us to desire reading such a book are the result of someone or something stirring something in us. Our behavior and the behavior of others impact our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. To further illustrate this point, the chair that is supporting you this very moment was once designed, manufactured, and sold by other people.
“No matter how much we try to believe that we don’t need people to help us in life, we can’t escape the fact that we do… It is a biological drive to commune with others for survival.”
No matter how much we try to believe that we don’t need people to help us in life, we can’t escape the fact that we do. I would like to repeat that this is not weakness, it is a biological drive to commune with others for survival. The acknowledgement of this can only strengthen our awareness of ourselves and those around us.
There is an analogy that I like to use to help conceptualize the use of therapy aiding in life’s success:
“Therapy is like a 500 piece puzzle. When we get stuck in trying to find the next piece, a therapist can see the puzzle with an objective view and help put the pieces together. When we stare at the puzzle, we become part of the puzzle. The therapist is there to help us create the space between us and the issues that we face.”
We find ourselves – who we truly are – in our relationships. If we find ourselves in recurrent situations that we are not happy with, it is important for us to understand the common denominator in those situations is ourselves. The thing is, we don’t see ourselves objectively. We see what we want to see. If the lessons that you were taught about yourself when you were younger are those that are negative, your viewpoint about yourself and your reality is going to be skewed. If you have experienced trauma in your life, once again, the lens in which your relationships and the world in general will also be altered.
There is no shame in asking for objective help in learning about and finding ways to cope with what might be causing you distress. We all experience stress in our lives. We all have problems. It is a sign of strength to admit when we need to talk to someone. Just like the nature of our body’s biological imperative to survive, we need to work cooperatively in order to help us remain healthy in life.
If you’re ready to tap into the strength that comes from asking for help, please reach out. I can help you gain a more objective perspective on challenges you’re facing within the safety of a supportive, non-judgmental environment.