What Happens When You Reach Out For Support?
To ask, or not to ask, that is the question.
Just what compels one to choose to reach out to others for support, or choose not to?
I know for myself there are times when I do not even hesitate asking, “Hey, would you mind giving me hand with this?” or, “Would you do me a favor?”
It almost seems second nature to include others in the moment, perhaps much to the chagrin of my family, friends and colleagues.
But I also know there are times when I do not reach out so naturally.
I turn inward, exclude others, and take care of things on my own.
So, why this dichotomy of actions? What is in it for me?
I have been reflecting on my own choices in this area a lot lately, and it has made me curious:
While some may see the act of reaching out to others for support as a sign of weakness and incapability, others see it as an act of strength and wisdom.
Which is it? Is there an ‘in-between’?
Does it depend on the situation or circumstances?
What happens when you do reach out? And when you do not?
Yes, no, or sometimes?
Each of us are inclined to reach out or not reach out, depending on a variety of factors: upbringing, prior experiences, personality, to name a few.
Are you more of a yes, no, or sometimes person?
- You are a person who is very comfortable with reaching out to others for support.
- You enjoy and appreciate having people with whom to share your experiences, and multiple heads and hands are far better than one when it comes to getting things done.
- Your life is an open book and you welcome others’ energy into it.
- You are a person who finds it difficult to reach out to others for support.
- You are a private person who feels that not everything needs to be shared with the whole wide world, or even a small little cross-section of it.
- Perhaps it is the actual opening up to others that is tough for you.
- You do not wish to burden others with your ‘stuff’.
- Whatever the reason, you are content to be your own best friend and support.
- You are a person who is quite comfortable reaching out for support in some situations but prefers to keep things on the down-low in other situations. It all depends on what is going on and who is around.
- You find that sometimes, in the middle of whatever is going on, you get so wrapped up in taking care of others in the situation that you forget to take care of yourself, so you are not really choosing not to reach out, you just do not take the time to do it.
- Either way, you are not opposed to reaching out to others, but you are selective.
Can your inclination change over time? Sure. Being consciously aware of your self will help you notice changes and reflect on how aligned they are with who and how you desire to be.
Now, onto why it is actually a good idea to reach out to others for support…
Six sensational advantages of seeking support
- Develop deeper connections
When you share experiences with others you allow for the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and feelings. You learn about each other’s strengths and needs. You become more aware of all that you have to offer one another and in which areas you can support each other. Sharing experiences leads to developing stronger and deeper bonds, one thing that adds to the quality of our lives.
- Build a safety net
Each time you reach out for support you are adding a line to your own personal safety net. There are many people who are willing to help you out and be there for you when you need a lift. You do not need to carry everything on your shoulders alone, all you need to do is ask. Do not shut them out! Reaching out to others enlarges and strengthens the net that holds you up.
- Gain perspective
There are times when the world is spinning around you and you just can not seem to make heads or tails of it. Reaching out to another can help put things into perspective for you. That person can see things in a way you may not be able to see at the moment, which can clarify the situation for you or give you insights into alternative next steps.
- Free up feelings
Feeling stuck or limited with options? Feeling confused or just need to talk? Find a willing ear and let out your thoughts and feelings. Just the physical act of speaking the words can leave you feeling lighter and more clear-minded.
- Empower others
Most everyone welcomes opportunities to lend a hand. When you are asked to help out you feel honored because it means someone thinks you have something beneficial to offer. It makes you feel good and positive to know that someone values you and your support. And is it not an amazing feeling to be able to help someone else feel worthy, valued, and needed? That is a win for both of you!
- Receive double-joy
Just as reaching out helps others to feel positive and empowered, it also helps you to feel the same. You get to be on the receiving end of others’ care, compassion, and comradery (ahhhhhhh…). Plus, the joy they feel in being able to help is reflected back to you.
We are humans, we are social beings, and reaching out to one another is one way to strengthen our connections and enhance our survival in this world.
As for me and my ponderings, I have come to the conclusion that I am pretty much a ‘yes’ person when it comes to friends, work, hobbies, etc. I reach out when I feel I need to/want to.
I am also a ‘sometimes’ person when it comes to personal stuff.
I know this, I realize it, I know I should reach out more often because when I do I immediately feel better and the situation does not seem as daunting.
Note to self:
Take advantage of the advantages!
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If the sun is shining, my Crosstrek is calling me to fill up her tank, throw open her sunroof, and head for the back-roads. With wind in my hair, I smile at everyone I see. Grace smiles back at me (even through the trees).