Asking for help.
I’m not good at it, and I don’t do it often, which is probably why I’m not good at it–I don’t have enough practice.
Take today for example. Rather than ask for help with a project at work like normal people do, I let the workload pile up until my plate is overflowing, then I get totally stressed out, which leads to me getting short and irritable with people, which leads to me finally, almost tearfully, asking for help because I can’t take the workload any more and something’s gotta give before I buy a one-way ticket to the loony bin.
Mercifully a very kind and generous co-worker (who has a pretty full plate of her own) stepped up in response to my distress calls and graciously took a couple of items off my plate, including some that I didn’t even ask her to handle (but am very grateful that she’s handling it so that’s less for me to worry about).
I’d like to think that she did it out of the kindness of her heart (and she is one of the kindest people I know), but there’s a chance that she offered to help because she was afraid that I’d have a total meltdown and start screaming and throwing things in the middle of the hallway if someone didn’t help. me. right. NOW. Not that I would ever let it get to that point, but, um, better safe than sorry.
Now that my stress level is back down to a reasonable level rather than hovering at DEF-CON 5, I’m humbled to think about how often I fail to ask for help. It’s
probably certainly a pride thing that I try to do too much before waving the white flag of surrender. Maybe thinking back on today will help me do a better and faster job of speaking up the next time I start to feel stress get the better of me.
At least for my co-workers’ sake, if not for my own.