Nobody in this world who doesn’t need help. We all need help at some point. But there are those of us who admit it, and those of us who resist it. The fact of the matter is that it’s okay to need and ask for help. Admitting that one needs help is a fact of life and actually shows maturity and confidence. When someone absolutely refuses assistance, then it’s time to think of clever alternatives. There are many people out there who feel like they have to do everything on their own and then complain when no one helps them. These are people that require extra patience and planning when dealing with their somewhat stubborn personalities. Here are four tips for helping people that absolutely refuse help.
Know what needs to be done and just do it. People may like to get help but don’t like the act of asking. So, don’t ask! Just do it! They most likely won’t refuse help once done. In fact, they may be grateful that you rolled up your sleeves and jumped right in. The philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that intention is most important. If a person means well, then the act is “good” no matter if it turns out well or not.
If you must ask the person if they need help, ask in a way that makes them feel like they are doing you a favor. For example, “I’ve always wanted to try formatting a newsletter. May I try working on this one since you seem like you could be doing more important things?” How you phrase the request is key! Most people don’t want help because it suggests weakness on their part. If you emphasize your deficit as well as the learning opportunity for you, then the person may be delighted to accept your help. Now you have completely reversed the situation and turned a negative into a positive.
“My favorite motto to live by is ‘Make kindness a reflex.’”
Have a heart-to-heart conversation in which you clarify that it’s okay to ask for and accept help. Honestly, nobody will think less of you for accepting help if you are trying your hardest without help. Occasionally, someone’s best isn’t good enough, but that is another story. When someone is pulling their weight and more, it is perfectly acceptable to get a helping hand that ensures everything goes smoothly. At the end of the day, the final product is most important. How one gets to that product isn’t as important unless you are working in the educational field in which the learning process is often in the spotlight.
Let them fail. Yes, you read that correctly—let them refuse help and document each time you offer your assistance. This way, when they complain about not getting help, you can say, “Actually, I offered to help you on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday… Next time, you should accept my offers.” Sometimes, people must learn the hard way, so let them. Soon, they may change their tune and seek you for help.
Everyone can be more productive when they accept help. In my own life, I am the type of person who wants everything to be done right. However, I also desire to do everything by myself. As my work responsibilities increased though, I realized that I would not be as productive as I would like to be if I didn’t accept help from my colleagues and service students. The way I convinced myself to accept help is to plan to accept assistance. Specifically, I make a list of duties that I can delegate to others, which they are capable of doing. This way, I can concentrate on more important responsibilities. So, speaking as a person who didn’t like to accept help at first, my mind changed once I adjusted my outlook and planning. Now, I embrace help from others, and I make it part of my daily routine as a librarian. There is no way I could serve nearly a thousand students every day all on my own. Accordingly, I believe anyone will gladly accept help if you approach them in the right way!