How Much Support Do You Want or Need?

I’ve been thinking about support these last few weeks. I have found support networks quite helpful, both for my emotional and physical needs.

Some people don’t want support. If you try to help them, you inflict help.

Sometimes, I don’t want support either. When I lean on a door to open it, I use my weight as additional strength against the door. If someone helps me by reaching over me to open the door, I am more likely to fall over. Oops. That’s why I wrote How May I Help You?

On the other hand, I need help for all kinds of things you might take for granted. I need help to reach things high up because I have TDS (too damn short) syndrome. It’s not going away. Because I have vertigo, I either need my rollator or helping hands when the ground is not smooth. I can live with that. (Let me rephrase: I will live with that!)

When I taught the writing workshop the first time, I thought I offered enough support. I am wondering now about any additional support I can offer to help people build their writing habits. I’m thinking of accountability check-ins. I will offer it, and not make it mandatory.

Here’s the problem I see. Many of us need more support than we ask for. We want less than we might need.

Here’s when I can ask for support:

  • When asking does not diminish my sense of self.
  • When I am strong enough to realize I can’t do this myself.
  • When I am strong enough to be vulnerable to ask for help.

Here’s when I don’t ask for enough support:

  • When I think I “should” be able to “just” do it.
  • When I think I will appear weak and/or vulnerable.
  • When I think I will not learn enough from asking for help.

You’ll notice that my perfection rules get in the way of asking for support. When I expect to be imperfect—and strong—I can ask for help.

I have noticed that many of us need more support than we think we might. Me included. How can we be strong in our request for help? That’s a mindset thing and I’ll address that in a different question of the week.

Dear adaptable readers, this is the question of the week: How much support do you want or need?



4 thoughts on “How Much Support Do You Want or Need?”

  1. As a coach, I want to teach people to pull help.
    (I prefer this over pushing help , aka rescuing )
    What can I do so that :

    >When I think I will appear weak and/or vulnerable.
    you think less you will appear weak/vulnerable.

    >When I think I will not learn enough from asking for help.
    How can I help you learning when I help you?

    1. Hi Yves, I think of pushing help in these circumstances: when someone hasn’t asked for help and I am sure they can use it (I think this is your rescue scenario); when someone doesn’t want help from me; when someone doesn’t know of other alternatives. I bet there are more circumstances.

      I find that when I help people do the same things over and over again, they are not learning. Maybe I have not thought about how to provide the help in a way they can understand. More likely, I have either been impatient and not explained enough. Or (third alternative), they want me to do the work and not learn it themselves.

      When I coach and consult, I often learn things. I might learn how something can go wrong. I might learn an alternative approach I hadn’t considered until now.

      I find that if I don’t learn when I am coaching or consulting, it’s time to stop that part of my business.

  2. I guess I was not clear.

    My question was really about you. (I learn from specific situations)
    so how can I help you, Johanna, to help you think/feel less that you will appear weak/vulnerable. (when you ask for help)
    or create situations where you would feel less weak.

    1. Yves, I have no idea yet. Maybe the question you can ask is this: When do you feel weak or vulnerable? Maybe that’s a specific example that might work for you.

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