International Coach Academy,  Life choices

Asking for help! It adds a lot :).

The good kind of help.

Asking for help, it does seem difficult at times – but why is this so? Are you too proud to ask – as you want to show you can do it all yourself? Or are you too shy – not sure what kind of reaction it will trigger? Or is it related to an unfamiliarity on the best manner to ask in the first place – never finding the right time, place or words? For me, it is also related to how I was raised – asking for help was not a custom in our family. Funnily enough, there was a lot of complaining if no one would help the family, even more so as they felt they were always helping others. Wasn’t that a reason to expect it back? It took me some time to realize that you have to give some kind of signal to your surroundings that you need help. Because although I was always able to read and understand the energy around people and how to interpret it. I also learned that this wasn’t natural to everyone around me! It is also a lot easier to give than to receive. That is something we learn from a young age. Even if it is your last breath or last reserve of energy.

That there is a balance in asking and receiving help, I learned later. It is also a way to understand and receive a lot of love, (new) friendship and blessings into your life. I’m very lucky to live my gypsy life and move around the world quite a bit. This way I can experience many different cultures and views in this world. One experience I had in Japan taught me to see the balance in asking for help and the amazing experience it gave me. I have experienced the beauty of giving and receiving help, one on one. I help you and you help me. Never was I in a situation where I wasn’t able to use my words nor to give back. Here I was in middle of Tokyo station trying to find my way back to Yokohama, which is about 50 kilometers south of Tokyo (Japan). The kids were finishing school very soon and I had to find my way back. Tokyo station is enormous and had very few signs in English at the time – my Japanese language skills were very limited. A friend told me when I just arrived in Japan, always to take my address with me in Japanese. So when my stress levels were getting to a panic mode, I just held out my address in front of me. In my head I thought: HELP ME, PLEASE. Trying to look relaxed and open at the same time. Not a good combination, to be honest. Out of nowhere this little old Japanese man came. Looked at me, looked at my sign. Looked at me again. Then he respectfully nodded at me. Took my arm and started walking through Tokyo station. We didn’t talk, that felt really strange. It must have been really funny to look at this little Japanese man pulling this tall European lady. After a short period, we stopped in front of a train and he just said: “Yokohama”, and gave me a nod and a very loud “Hi”. I got in the train, he waited until the train left the station. I kept saying “Arrigato” (which means “thank you” in Japanese) and waved to him. Not sure if that was the right protocol, but it felt good. This wonderful man had just made my day! I managed to get to school on time and the special feeling of receiving help without any strings was amazing.

I started to look at this way of giving help and how you always get back what you send out in the world. If I could help a mum with her shopping, because joggling kids and shopping can be a challenge, or picking up some of the rubbish on the floor to keep the play-area clean, it would come back to me in many different ways. That girl at the Starbucks giving me a cup of tea, because I always smiled to her. Or someone giving me a ticket for a parking place, already paid. While writing this, there are many more situations coming to my mind. I bet you have some great experiences as well. I would love to hear some of yours!


  • nuria

    That is a very nice story and I love how you have called yourself a gypsi, I might be a bit gypsi myself ;-). Asking for help is definetily a must when you struggle and cannot cope with your life anymore, but also on a daily basis as you could avoid going into the limit of your resiliance and patience. Great topic this month!

  • Mandy

    Amazing story. It’s so true that sometimes it’s just written all across our faces that we need help. And I do believe things will come full circle, we’ll get back what we give out. 🙂

  • caroline wymenga

    Hi Renee,
    Great story! And yes I’m one of those stubborn ones as well. There are so many good people in this world.
    My last experience: ‘ This summer, going to the airport with about 10 pieces of luggage, a bench and a big dog’. Although I have two kids help and carry, it seemed a very high mountain to climb. The whole neighborhood preparing to leave for holidays, family far away so who to ask??? My knees were hurting and giving up after an exhausting 5 weeks in Holland (exhausting means really GREAT and joy full days but just TOO much). My good friend and very close neighbor offered me a ride! REALLY??? Why didn’t you ask? She said. I can tell you this was SO GOOD!
    Cheers! Caroline

  • Clelia

    HI Renee,

    Great Blog. I am actually one of those people that ‘enjoy’ asking for help. I believe in the mantra that human beings are basically good and want to do good but sometimes we bring our ‘baggage’ to experiences and miss the good intention! Quick story, ‘this past weekend, my husband and I decided to go for some Indian food at our favourite restaurant. As we were sitting having dinner and this couple at a near by table (one of them was in a leg cast) kept looking down at my feet. I said to my husband, ‘I don’t understand what they are doing? Why do they keep staring?’ As it turned out, they finished their meal and as they were waiting for their bill, the gentlemen in the leg cast hobbled over to ask if the car keys under my chair were mine?’ So the good deed was done and they felt better for helping and I could get home! My experience has been that anytime I have asked for help (even from the ‘BIG GUY’ or at a grocery store)
    most of the time, you will receive that help but you also can see how much joy it brings the person who is helping you! WIN WIN
    Hugs, Clelia

  • Samantha

    Wow does this theme ever resonate for me! I am the sort who always struggles to ask for help – tending to pride myself on self sufficiency to an unreasonable degree. It is definitely one of my life challenges to learn to ask and accept help with grace and gratitude, instead of resisting every step of the way. I always find it much, much easier to give than receive, and I really need to work on balancing out that equation.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful reminder, Renee!

  • Elske

    Very recognisable to read. It feels good to help others. Most of the times I experience it in small things. My examples: An old lady who was walking and had her dress in her underpense and helping her to get it good, helping someone to get out the train with her small kids, helping friends to paint.

    My last experience was the day before yesterday – a different one; I’m always quite helpful. But now I was a bit naieve I think; a boy around 17 years old ringed the doorbell at 9 pm and introduced himself as a neighbour from a few houses further. I Had not seen him before as I lived here 3/4 of a year. He told a story that his mom was in the hospital at his aunt who just had an accident. She had no money to come home. He askes if we would be a taxi for his mom but it could take a while in the hospital. The other suggestion was if we could borough him 15 euro’s for a cab so she could return home. We gave him some money. He was grateful en told us that we would get back the money the next day. That has not happened yet, and I haven’t seen the boy since.

    My say is always If you help others without expecting something in return in the end it will get back to you. But sometimes- in this case- not;-)

  • nihadfawzi

    Thanks for sharing Renee, very inspiring story and in fact we all need each others. In my country, long years ago people were used to help each other without being asked, it was their nature.
    They were living in big families in the same building or house and they were all helping each other.
    Neighbors were used to help each other and to support each other, all forms of support even financial and life was great, they loved each other and been at the service of each other. Now it’s different, we may find brothers who are not speaking, neighbors who even don’t know each other.
    In such a community, where every one think only about themselves I think asking for help can be a way for not only getting help but also for strengthening the relationships, getting people closer and help them to be less selfish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.