I recently read something along the lines of “You should let people help you because that means you care about yourself.”  (FYI- from a magazine article not a blog)

Hmmm

I’m not sure how I feel about this statement.  So I’m going to write a few hundred pithy (hopefully) words about what this statement means to me.  I get what the writer was aiming for:  in a world where women do too much, they need to ask for help.  I know that the family work flow is often tilted towards a woman, with women doing the lion share of household duties.

But…

Is it fair to say that women who do not ask for help don’t care about themselves?  What is the correlation?  Why don’t women ask for help?  Let’s write a list of possible reasons why women don’t ask for help:

  1. It’s just easier to do it themselves
  2. they like it done a certain way
  3. they don’t trust someone else to actually get it done
  4. they don’t have anyone else to help them
  5. they don’t want to bother someone else
  6. they are the only one that knows how to do something

Do any of these statements directly correlate to  women not caring about themselves?

I am not a fan of blanket statements that assume that all people that do X are Y. (unless I’m making the statement)  There is a tendency to categorize and label people, and this is a problem.  Why do we go out of our way to make if/then statements?  Shouldn’t each individual be treated as just that, an individual?  Sure, there might be some women who don’t ask for help because they feel unworthy, but to categorize the entire bunch?  And what about the opposite thought:  What does it say if someone asks for help all the time?

I have much more to say about this topic (shocking…) but I’m going to split it up into instalments because otherwise the post would be all over the place, with less cohesion than I normally have.

So…

Does not asking for help mean that you don’t care about yourself? (and you can cite men or women)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

57 thoughts on “Too Independent

  1. Sometimes helping out women, make men feel like hero’s. Especially carrying something heavy or fixing something in the house.
    They can play the hero while I do something more important, like painting my nails 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Warning: I’m going to work through answering this as I write.

    “that you don’t care about yourself” may not be the right phrase. I do think that if you have a PROBLEM asking for help, then maybe there is something going on with your SELF that you haven’t admitted just yet.

    I also have a problem with the word “help.” Help doing what? Household tasks? My hair? Getting the children ready? If I have to ask someone/my partner to HELP me to do these things, then we have a bigger issue than me caring about myself. We have an imbalance in the household that needs to be discussed.

    So, I think the answer is no. This doesn’t mean that you don’t care about yourself. However, it might mean some other things for you and your mate.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It’s a catch-22. Anal things like towels folded a specific way means you either do it yourself, train someone to do it your way and then take time to supervise, educate and re-do, or look the other way if done differently (and consequently now they don’t all fit but at least you had help – which to me is not helpful). This is hard for people like me.

    I will ask for help from a small list if people occasionally and accept that help sometimes without guidance or suggestions, but it does not happen often. The reality is that my way helps me best, maybe more so than outside help.
    Which doesn’t mean you can’t outsource stuff. It takes training to accept other ways, and that’s ok. (Example, teen does own laundry, but not always to my expectation and I have learned to accept this, within limits. Another is sourcing grocery shopping with a list to husband. He bought the correct stuff, was out if house for a bit so I could work in solitude (which was helpful to me), but 4 nectarines and 2 grapefruits for the 4 of us which includes a teen boy won’t last beyond a day so it wasn’t that helpful. Now I know next time to include more details on list-buy enough fruit to last thru weekend)

    It’s about balance, for me. Without help I sit among clutter and tune out to daytime TV which helps my mental state (self care). Get them to sweep or do dishes without supervision is part of that.

    Or something. 😉☕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m like you…I like things done a certain way so I’d rather just do it myself…and I totally get the frustration when you think they understand what you want and they clearly think differently. I’ve had the fruit situation to varying degrees and it crushes me

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with you and your commenters. Mostly, I think your original phrase is trying to use bold words to incite a feeling in its readers. People (not simply women) often need a heavy-handed approach to make even a small change.
    Asking for and accepting help is also a good way to build a reciprocal relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 7. They live alone and thus have to do everything for themselves.

    I keep telling the cat he needs to do his part to keep things tidy, but he just ignores me and takes a nap…

    On a different level, I think a lot of women don’t ask for help because they just expect that they have to do all the work because that’s what Society has been telling them for years. Women shouldn’t have to ask for ‘help’ around the house. Their partners should just be doing the things that make a household run because they’re adults who live there, too.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Mom’s words:”I don’t know why I asked(told) you to do it ,I can get it done faster myself.” I grew up with the belief that to ask for help was a sign of weakness or incompetence. This is an interesting subject…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I generally don’t ask for help because I have COPD, and asking for help is wasting precious long capacity because mostly I’m just going to be ignored. Doesn’t mean I don’t care about myself; quite the opposite is actually the truth.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I mostly don’t want or need help! Plus I live alone, so I have no one (except the cats, but I can’t get them to scoop their own litterbox so forget them….) to ask or rely on. I have asked for help with certain things in the past, but been either ignored or put off or, even worse, have the task so effed up that it wasn’t worth the effort to ask in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m wondering if the author is referring to asking for help when you’re not coping well with daily tasks….you can’t take care of others when your cup is empty……you can’t take care of daily responsibilities (well) if your mental health is suffering. I think sometimes we feel we need to prove our strength so are reluctant to ask for help.

    I am definitely one that prefers to do things my way……it’s less stressful for me than having someone do it “wrong”!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think we live with the myth of the self-made person or the self-made millionaire. No one is self made and has made it anywhere without help from family and friends. I agree with you, I think the author poorly stated it, but I get what they’re saying. We need to stop believing that being completely self sufficient is a noble thing.

    As far as marriage goes. My wife’s biggest complaint is that I walk around with blinders on. She is like a rock and does that necessarily want to ask. I think she should, but I get her point. She is not my mother and I’m not a teenager. She doesn’t want have to ask. If I see clothes, fold them. If I see a mess clean it up. I by no means think it’s her job and that’s why I miss these things. I walk around with blinders on and I also lived with a mother who ran herself ragged and never asked anything of us. It took a toll on her and that’s not fair. It also didn’t do me any service by not teaching me to be more helpful. I’m diligently working on this because I believe it’s one of the most important pieces of a marriage.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s hard because it’s subconscious and even harder for my wife because I don’t blame her for not wanting to constantly have to ask me to do important stuff or not step over my underwear for the third time.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. My gut reaction was actually your first reason in your list; everything else just fit 100% for me, too. I don’t think it’s about women caring less. Some people find it easier to ask for help. Sometimes it isn’t even “hard or easy” to ask for help; some people just have the inclination to ask or not to ask. No biggie in my opinion. I don’t even know if it’s about being independent, either…. I really feel like it’s more someone’s inclination. Can’t wait to see what else you have coming soon! ~K 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What really helped was my wife just left my crap around until I started to realize how messy I was. I know my mom and grandmothers did it out of love, but it doesn’t do any kid any good to just pick up after them constantly. Makes them a messy inept adult. Fortunately my wife does that play that game, so I had to learn quick although I’m still learning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have two modes. Sometimes I step over stuff, sometimes I just pick up stuff and leave it in a basket and when they need something they have to get it out if the basket. Your wife is smart

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve just recently learned about self-care (within the last 5 or 6 years since the kids have been grown up enough to take care of themselves). I didn’t realize I wasn’t caring for myself, but it had nothing to do with not asking for help with things. It was that I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do, I was doing the things I thought had to be done. I was raised with the belief that husband and kids came first and I was last on the totem pole. I do agree with your #1, 2 and 3. I have learned though that it’s okay for someone else to load the dishwasher and I’ll just get in there and rearrange things before I start it, or that someone else can do the laundry. Fortunately my husband does those things occasionally. Even washes the dishes, although we use different approaches to that as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think some of it goes back to how you asked for help and were received as a child. For example: I learned early on not to ask my dad for help because it would overwhelm him and to go to my mother. He paid someone to help me learn how to drive because he didn’t want to be in the same car directing me. He was an impatient person, so I felt intimidated for a long time asking for help. My husband is terrible about instructing me how to do clever stuff on the computer: he has no patience and he admits to that. On the other hand, if I have to ask for directions even in a bad area, I will if I can find someone who seems ok.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. False either/or assumptions are a plague! “Either you’re with me or against me” “Do you like this or that?” (Neither, both?) If you don’t this, then that”. It’s bogus nonsense. Life is not black and white!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am planning on getting a lot of help from my 16 year old and 19 year old this summer! Actually my 19 year old has already been pretty helpful since being on summer break from college.
    Outside of my husband and kids I tend not to ask for help. My sister and mom have offered little as far as emotional support.
    Things get weird sometimes when you ask for family help. I’d much rather pay someone to help us move, say than to ask an extended family member to help with a move.
    My husband is the youngest in his family and was expected to help his older siblings with everything from babysitting to moving. When it was his turn to ask for help his siblings seemed to forget it was their turn to reciprocate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like asking my husbands family for help because there is a aid pro quo, and it gets thrown in your face. Remember when I did X for you….

      Like

  17. I don’t think not asking for help means you don’t care about yourself. I think it could mean one likes to be independent, likes to do things a certain way, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I care for myself very much and don’t ask for help unless it’s something I simply cannot do…mainly because no one does it as well as I do 😉😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Personally, whether or not I ask for help really doesn’t depend on how good I am at caring for myself. If I truly need help, I don’t have a problem asking. But if at all possible, I prefer to do things myself. It’s just easier for me that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. My husband drives over the road. I’m not going to ask for help to do something I know I can do by myself. Just because he is gone. Not going to happen. You get used to doing things by yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a very strange viewpoint that journalist has. Why, by being independent does that mean you don’t care for yourself? Surely by the very nature of independence this means that you are capable of looking after and ergo taking care of yourself. I once dated a guy who remarked after a couple of weeks “I know I was looking for an independent woman, but I didn’t want one as independent as you are”, I took it as a great compliment and kicked the loser into touch!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Self-care is a bit of a hobby horse of mine, but in the matter of chores – the doing of them and how they are done – I believe it is a matter of caring – whether they are done and how. I was brought up with servants (no, not rich or royalty just in third-world countries where that was the norm) and when I became an independent adult, I had to learn what needed doing & how to do it. I do chores because I made an active decision that I didn’t like how things were when I didn’t. To those who offer the excuse that they were spoilt growing up and so don’t notice, I’m sorry but you need to be more honest with yourself …

    Liked by 1 person

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