Why accepting too little from others is a very bad thing…
PART 1 of 2
If you were raised dysfunctionally, you were taught that “Being nice” or being a “good” person meant not needing or taking “too much” from anyone.
Your dysfunctional parents couldn’t handle your legitimate needs. You learned that if you didn’t ask for or need anything, your parent or parents would be somewhat happier and easier to get along with. You learned to stay out of the way and pretend you didn’t need what your parents couldn’t give.
Overall, you internalized the message that “needless” = “good”, and quickly learned to deny your needs and wishes. It made things go a small amount more smoothly at times.
Old Habits Die Hard
But now you’re an adult, and you’re uncomfortable accepting a normal amount help and generosity. A normal amount of help and generosity seems unthinkably shameful and greedy to you, and you’re worried that if you accept support it makes you a pain, and the person will like you less, secretly resent you, or expect a big unreasonable payback from you.
You probably say things like, “Oh, no, thank you, don’t worry about me, I’m fine. Don’t go out of your way…you don’t have to do that for me…” And you think that saying that is protecting you from unpopularity and helping you get accepted, because it makes you easy to tolerate.
At Great Cost…
It won’t hurt you if you turn down people’s offers of help, will it? What’s the big deal? Things might be a little trickier that way, but nobody will ever complain you take too much. And you can always be proud that you do just about everything yourself, even if it makes you suffer through having to do everything the hard way.
Well, here’s the problem with it; I have seen it countless times among the adult children of dysfunctional families I work with, and I experienced it myself as well –
When you don’t ask for enough, you repel the best friends and you attract the worst ones.
If you do the things above, you are probably surrounded by many people who are not capable of helping you out the way you would help them.
The weird part is, you probably don’t even realize it, because they haven’t been tested with something big enough, and you are ASSUMING that if a big enough tragedy struck you, these people would be there for you. They would care. They would make you pots of chicken soup and babysit your children and go the distance for you if ever needed them desperately. Because they know that’s what you’d unfailingly do for them, of course.
But hold on a second — you’re the one who never troubles them. You’re the one who usually gives more than you get. You’re the one they like because you’re so “easy” to know. You don’t make requests, much less demands. You’ve been a piece of cake — a free ride.
And what kind of person really wants the kind of friend who makes sure a person never has to go out of their way too much?
A lame friend, that’s who. A self-centered, uncaring, unempathic, fair-weather friend. They just LOVE people who never ask for things, because they don’t like giving much, and they like to get more than they give!
When It All Falls Down
You may doubt what you’re reading, but here’s when you’ll find out what’s wrong with not asking enough from others…
…when you are at your absolute lowest moment in life and most desperately need the support of others these people you haven’t asked enough from are the ones who will shame, dump, and even smear you.
Fine time for someone to start treating you like garbage, right? But that’s when their true colors will come right through — when suddenly, they have to make a significant effort to stand by you. Because they won’t do it, and they never planned to have to.
All of a sudden, they’ll be telling you that you’re just too high-maintenance, and they’re too busy, too overwhelmed, or too important to support you. They’ll criticize and reject you, and they’ll try to make you feel like you’re just impossible to live with. The truth is, they’re suddenly not getting more than they give, and that’s just not acceptable to them. You have to go back to being their nice, easy friend who never asks anything of them, or you’ve got to go.
You’ll be shocked and horrified, you won’t believe what they’ll do, and you’ll wonder what is so wrong with the world that in your time of deepest need or pain, there is yet another awful realization heaped on your shoulders — your “friend” has no empathy and doesn’t like to give.
You Hold The Key
That’s what happens when you tell people “not to bother” when they want to help you. The wrong kind of people hang around you and buddy up, and these people become your friends.
In the meantime, generous people who love to give will pick up on your signs that receiving makes you uncomfortable, and out of concern for your feelings and a wish to truly give, they will spend their time on others who joyfully accept what they offer.
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