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  • I am a person who can sometimes be difficult to "help."

    For one thing, I absolutely HATE unsolicited advice. A person giving unsolicited advice assumes himself to be better than me, to know more than I do, to understand my situation better than I do. (Even solicited advice can be way off the mark of what is needed.)

    I will freely admit to being cantankerous. I get more so every year.

    I have a difficult time following advice. It rarely seems to work for me. My situation often feels totally unique and separates me from the rest of humanity.

    Worse yet, I hate being indebted to people, especially certain people, especially when I am feeling vulnerable. Often, I would rather suffer than ask for help. I feel as if I am begging--and that harks back to days when I lived on the streets and actually had to beg for food to survive. It makes me feel less than.

    I hate long lectures with lots of irrelevant information when I ask a simple question.

    On the other hand, I am often deeply grateful to certain people in certain circumstances for their help. It's hard for me to parse the difference between the times when help is joyous to receive and I feel deep gratitude and those times when I feel anger and resentment. This will require more thought.

    Advice can be desired and helpful; for example, if someone has a skill I don't possess, sometimes the easiest way to learn something is to have someone show me. For example, I am learning how to do 3D photography, and I LOVE having someone show me little shortcuts and tricks. And since the experts in my 3D club seem EAGER to be helpful, I do not feel as if I am burdening them with my neediness.

    I will freely ask a smiling person to take my picture when I am traveling alone. Smiles help me feel less frightened of asking for help.

    Not wanting to be a possible burden to others and resenting being made to feel stupid are two of the main reasons asking for help is difficult for me.




    Image credit: me, self portrait of the Photographer as a cantankerous old woman
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