Sunday, February 8, 2009


I read a blog the other day where the writer spoke about how difficult it is to ask for any kind of help. I doubt this is a problem for everyone, but when you are brought up German, I think this is a given fact. I can remember as if it was yesterday, my mother and grandmother telling me that it is not right to ask for any kind of help, you need to be self-sufficient and do things on your own. I guess you really do learn by example and this "not asking" has been a problem for me most of my life. My dear husband doesn't understand it and probably never will. It is something ingrained in my personality that just won't budge to another level.

I know my youngest daughter has definitely inherited this trait from me. And here I was not even trying to pass it on. I believe you do learn by example and she, unfortunately learned well. Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful to be self-sufficient, but sometimes you just need to let go and let others help, be it something big or something very insignificant.

I truly believe that as you get older, the time will come when it is easier to ask for help. Until that time, I will need to accept myself as I am, having a very difficult time to ask anyone for anything. It is my character. I know very well, that characteristics of one's self are inborn and come with the complete package. As daughter #2 always says, "it is what it is!"


  1. Dave K.5:13 PM

    Susan, I know exactly what you mean. Whether it was implicitly or explicitly the message from my parents and grandmother was loud and clear when I was growing up: Don't ask for help. Be self-sufficient and self-reliant. It is a sign of weakness to ask for help. To this day, as a senior, I find it very difficult to ask for any kind of help. To the day my mom died she rarely asked for help despite her failing health. I really think self-sufficiency and self-reliance overall are good traits. Perhaps we wouldn't have all of the societal problems if these traits were instilled in children.

  2. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Lots of thoughts on this one. I agree that self-sufficiency is a positive trait. Being a one-some, not a twosome for 15+ years, I have become very independent by necessity. I hope I instilled this in my kids. I remember when life seemed unfair to them, telling them "rise above it!" Nowadays , they say, "Put on your big girl pants and deal with it." On the other hand, I relish in the opportunity to help someone in need without being an enabler. It gives me the opportunity to show a friend how much we care. I also have learned to Oma said, "Eine Hand wascht die andere." One hand does wash the other. Give and take because on our journey, we are there for each other. czb

  3. That was exactly how I was brought up in my German home. My children are all independent and selft sufficient but we need to learn to lean on each other too. A delicate balance.

  4. I must not have been paying attention when this was taught? :) Erika

  5. So I'm still trying to figure out. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I don't ask for help? There are times it's harder but also more rewarding knowing you did it on your own. I think I've gotten better at least Josiah said I never hesitate to ask him to do stuff. If only we all were so generous that we would think of others first than maybe we wouldn't have to ask but be offered instead. Thanks for not beating it into me but subtly teaching by example.