Just Ask

If there is one thing I am royally bad at, it is the ability to ask for something from other people. I hate it so much I get anxious at the thought of asking for a favour or to borrow something. I would much rather find a way to manage by myself, even if it means suffering a little in order to do so. I mean, what if they say no? What if they are seriously inconvenienced by my request that they then resent me? What if it causes so much hassle so as to adversely affect them? What if? What if? No, it is just too awkward, eugh.It is an issue I have been told off for time and time again. Often my friends and family would love to help me out when they can: just as I would for them. And that’s the point is it not? There is nothing (well, almost) that I would not do for my friends and family as my life philosophy very much centres on treating others how you would like to be treated. I pride myself in helping others, looking after others, caring for others, even if it is at my inconvenience. And I don’t begrudge them for it either – I enjoy it. I like being able to make like a little easier for others.

So, why would I not expect my friends and family to think and feel the same?

I am travelling to Southeast Asia in a few weeks time to carry out fieldwork for my Masters degree and obviously I am on a strict student budget but laden with a lot of fieldwork equipment. Buying a new rucksack with wheels (I am a bit of puny girl with puny shoulders) was out of question but I remembered that my friends from my last trip had the ideal bags. If only I could pluck up the courage to ask them to lend it to me.

Lesson learnt: have a little more faith in the kindness of others.

I asked K, late last night, if I could borrow her bag and straight away she replied with
“Of course” and this morning I requested to pick it up today and again she replied with “of course”. Her boyfriend (and my friend) climbed into the loft at the crack of dawn to retrieve it for me.

Just by asking I have saved myself £100. It has not adversely inconvenienced anybody and the favour will undoubtedly be returned.

Life is too short to suffer or struggle in silence and it is important to give other people the chance to be wonderful too.

Thank you to J and K for being absolute stars!

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2 Comments

  1. Natasha
    15 April 2010 / 7:27 am

    So how did you manage to get yourself to ask K?

    I have exactly the same dilemma no matter how well I know the people I need to ask or how small the favour I need to ask from them is…

    I love your conclusion about giving others "the chance to be wonderful too"…

  2. Elizabeth
    15 April 2010 / 9:00 am

    It was a combination of several things that motivated me to ask. One of them has been the therapy I have had in recent months which has helped me actively engage with the way I think. The other has been the encouragement of some very empathetic friends on my course who have told me to ask and be kind to myself. And finally, my Mum told me to stop being a plonker and just ask.

    I have to admit to taking the passive approach as I text K rather than phoned because I thought that would give her the opportunity to say No, without awkwardness, if she wanted to.

    As it happens, it has been absolutely no bother whatsoever and it's true about other people wanting to be helpful too.

    I recommend just starting small, be brave, take the plunge and "just ask" for a favour. If it is within their capabilities and you ask politely the chances are they will say yes. Good luck!

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