“...the ‘Favor Bank’ concept, which asserts that the whole world is one giant ‘Favor Bank.’ We go through life making deposits whenever we do favors for people, and that means that whenever we need a favor, we’re entitled to a withdrawal. It’s just as important to take out as it is to put in, because each time we accept a favor, we are allowing someone to make a deposit. I like introducing this idea of people who have trouble ‘taking.’”
- the voice of Rita Golden Gelman in her memoir Tales of a Female Nomad
I have a hard time asking for help. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve got a few ideas -- I don’t want to be a burden, and I don’t want anyone to resent me for asking for help. And then there are instances when I don’t feel like I should need to ask for help, that those around me should somehow just know what I need and step in and offer the help without me having to come out and ask for it.
Asking for help means I’m not in control of the situation. It means I’m incompetent, weak, vulnerable. (At least in my opinion). And none of those are good things to be.
This scenario, of me finding it difficult to ask for help, is something I have discussed with my therapist. And she suspects that it was probably difficult for me to ask for help even before my autoimmune disease. Who remembers any more?
But last week I was reading Rita Golden Gelman’s memoir (actually it was a re-read, I originally read it many years ago) and came across the passage above. From the entire three-hundred page book, this is the one passage that really struck a chord with me. I have no problem doing favors for others. Most times, I’m happy to. But, when the situation is reversed, it’s not so easy for me. But, maybe I can try to re-program my mind to look at the giving and taking of favors as necessary for both parties involved, and then maybe I’ll be more inclined to accept help.