My ability to ask for support, for reliable help when I need it, actually keeps me *genuinely strong* (not “stiff upper-lipping it”) when I am called on to be strong for others. Mostly emotionally. Example: with this moving thing we’re doing? My husband called having a shit-fit on Friday, because U-Haul had fucked up and sent our van 40 minutes away and not ready until the NEXT day (and he without a car of course, because he was planning on driving the U-Haul). On the phone today I talked him down from anger / depression and gave him a plan while he waited for the truck. P.S. this is when on my end of things, down in our new town, the HOUSE WE WERE MOVING INTO was falling through.
I kept this latest information from him because it wouldn’t have helped. I wasn’t feeling the weight of the world or nuthin’ because I’d been asking my parents for help with my kids, I’d been telling my friends what I was up to (and thereby receiving their emotional support, which really matters to me), and taking advantage of favors offered (like letting friends cook for me etc). I was able to be there for Ralph when he really needed it because despite a lot of stress I’d made sure not to stretch myself too thin.
I usually don’t look back on difficult episodes of my life and know I suffered needlessly and alone. I usually suffer the right amount, and with my loved ones fully present in my life. Here are some aspects of this trait that are a bit challenging:
1. Asking for what you want means people will sometimes say “no”. Far, far worse than this is the ones who say “yes” but really mean “no” (my latest blog entry contains a good example). This is painful, hurtful, assy and lame. You are vulnerable when you ask, and that’s all there is to it.
2. Leaning on others means you have to sometimes make a judgment call, and later realize you were being lazy or spoiled. Oh fucking well. All you can do in this case is apologize to the one you asked a favor of, or whatever, and try to learn from your lapse.
I am really trying to think of other “cons” to this character trait, but honestly? It’s a good thing.