Giving and Receiving Help by, Kathy Shabotynskyj

 Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me?
 -Help by the Beatles

Everyone needs some help some time. When we receive assistance, our circumstances improve. Aiding others will be a joy for the person helping and its own kind of reward. Therefore, giving and receiving help is beneficial to the giver and recipient. Yes, Helping is a give and take exercise.

Recently, in a blink of an eye, one of life’s inevitable events landed on my doorstep. My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and two weeks later, I was eligible for a club no one wants to join; the (metaphoric) surviving spouse club. It has been a new and interesting path for me over the past two months. Countless offers of service, relief and comfort were proffered by friends and family. I am so grateful for all who gave of themselves to serve me and my family at an extremely difficult time. I’ve learned that I am great at giving help but asking for help isn’t my forte.

Some of us are hard-wired to be chronic problem solvers and helpers to others. But with all skills, when strength is over-used, it will convert to a liability. Burnout is a common symptom of overdoing it. Being mindful and striking a balance will prevent burnout and other consequences resulting from too much helping of others.

In your business or in a corporate environment, delegating responsibilities is how many hands make light work. Your Time Management skills are a structured approach to identifying priorities and gaps and a useful tool to see where you need more support.

In your personal or professional life, you must focus on what is serving you and bringing you closer to your goals and jettison the activities and people who are not boosting you toward your goals.

Here are a few basics to learn to ask for help that will serve you throughout your life.

  • Don’t wait until you are frazzled and already over the edge to seek help
  • The way you communicate is key; you cannot expect those around you to read your mind, so you must initiate the call for help.
  • Group texts or emails are insensitive and will not yield the results you need; asking for help is most effective when it is accomplished in person.
  • Be as specific as possible when you identify the problem and your proposed solution and be open to alternative solutions from the person whose help you are seeking. You may want help dissecting a problem, working on the pro’s and con’s or identifying a path forward.

There is so much help available, you may need help to find the right help you need. One more caution, don’t invest too much energy into sorting out which help alternative you need. Start simple and close to home, use local resources and professionals. Often, just identifying where you need help and verbalizing the scenario out loud will lead to new thoughts and resolutions.


Nafije’s Insights:  What a great topic Kathy choose. There’s some great wisdom and some important reminders for all of us to reflect on as we are approaching the holiday season.

Giving and receiving are the two most humane attributes of love and I truly believe that the more we give, the more we receive. The law of attraction seems to always find its magic ways to support us therefore it is important to be gentle in our daily interaction.  We surely give in words and in deeds; sometimes just saying “how can I help you?” will bring some hope to someone. We all have witnessed help from our mentors and coaches in our life and surely we can share more of ourselves and touch other people's’ lives. To emphasize my point I have to recall the words of wisdom from Mother Teresa when she reminded us that “It’s not how much we give but how much we put into the giving.” Our work is a labor of love and it shows best when we reach out and help others wholeheartedly.

Good luck with giving and getting the help you need today and always!

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Career Coach Kathy Shabotynskyj:

Life Coach Nafije Prishtina: