A friend of mine visited me and we catch up till super late. It started with her asking me why I did not ask for her help when I needed her?
Since I was young, my parents told me to not bother other people and try to not give burden to others and I gotta be independent. Of course when I’m really struggling then I can ask for help.
One day, I with some friends were planning to have a BBQ party and we wanted to buy all the ingredients. It was a massive BBQ party for approximately 20 people so we were about to buy quite a lot of meat. Unfortunately, neither I nor this other friend is driving therefore, we asked another friend to drive us to the nearest shopping centre. However, the driver was late and our schedule was messed up a bit.
Later on that day, I told what happened earlier to my friend. Let’s just call her Apple.
She then said like this to me…
“why you never ask me to help you instead?”
“It’s because we already had someone who was willing to drive us to the shopping centre, and you seemed busy as well so we did not want to burden you.”
Her answer was shocking. It was like a slap in the face. She said:
“You know what? At the time when you were doing your grocery shopping, I did nothing and I could have just come to see you and help y’all with the shopping as well. I am not busy and I am upset by the fact that you did not even ask me for help!”
To some of you, it may seem like she is a drama queen. Well… it’s not true. She then continued her story,
“Back to 2015 I wanted to hold an event and asked some of my professional friends to contribute to the event, however, because they have told me their schedule, I was so hesitant and decided to not tell them about the event I was arranging at all. What if they think I am ignorant because they have told me how busy they are. I was afraid by the fact how they will feel sorry for not being able to join me. I was also scared of the rejection itself. It’s actually nothing, right? Only if I asked, I would know their answer.”
“After I decided not to ask them, they heard about the event from someone else a couple of weeks just before the event was executed. They were upset because I did not ask them to participate. They admitted that they were too busy but would love to make the time to still come and give little contributions if possible. They asked me why I didn’t ask if they were available or not. They apparently have been trying their best to be involved in this kind of projects again but because of work matter and all the deadlines, the couldn’t and was very disappointed at my decision.”
After I heard that story, I learned to better ask instead of just making assumptions. Better to gather the fact instead of just thinking and assuming that the other party is not having the time to contribute at all.
If in the end the person cannot make it, at least you have tried and will not have the guilty feeling. I know rejection is a scary thing for most people, but you will not know what’s inside that person’s head, isn’t it? Gather your courage and make a move and avoid the regret later.