my gripe- unsolicited help

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Kristina1

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After reading the MY STUFF post it reminded me of a gripe of my own that's been coming up a lot lately. I don't like when people take over a task from me to help me without asking. This is usually friends/family at home. For example if I am at the counter struggling to spoon food onto my plate, don't grab the spoon out of my hand and do it for me. Sometimes even though it takes me a long time and I struggle, sometimes I just want to do things by myself. My husband always asks first ("do you want help?") and if I want help I gratefully agree, if not I tell him no. But my mom and mother in law are the worst offenders for hovering over me and swooping in to help without asking. It drives me nuts!
 

lgelb

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"Hey. mom, you're sweet, but I'm going to feed myself as much as I can, so let me let you know when I can use your help, or just ask me if you're not sure..."
 

Kristina1

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Im very nonconfrontational. I definitely need to get better about making my wishes clear.
 

KarenNWendyn

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I hear you Kristina. It’s up to us to know when to ask for help and when to (gently) let others know when we want to do for ourselves. There’s a fine line and a delicate balance between the two, and I find the line is always changing!

I’ve also had a situation where a very dear friend, wanting to be helpful, has brought me food. Last week, she baked a loaf of pumpkin bread and brought over some lasagna a friend of hers had made, as well as some pie. She had just brought food over 2 weeks earlier.

At first it was lovely and welcoming, but now it is getting a bit overwhelming. I don’t want to discourage her because I know she just wants to help. But sometimes it feels a bit smothering.

Anyway, that’s my rant.
 

affected

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Kristina I hope you can find a way to tell them how you feel. Maybe you could write them a text or email so you can get the words just right?
 

Bestfriends14

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Good to know for this CALS here. I would be the one to hover and take over if my PALS was having trouble. I will not do that but ask going forward. Thanks for posting this, Kristina.
 

pittsburghgal

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I sensed my PALS strong need to do things for himself as long as possible. He wanted to make a sandwich by himself. He wanted to shave himself. It was hard sometimes to stand back and not jump in to help-- especially when I would see several cuts on his face after every time he shaved. I waited until he asked for help.

The only time I couldn't support his need to do things for himself was when he insisted on driving himself when it was becoming too dangerous. He had a lot of difficulty turning the steering wheel and couldn't use the turn signals.

Sharon
 

MarieLaure

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Thanks for your post Kristina. This discussion will certainly help cals understand better.
When my dad was at a stage when he was getting more and more difficulty using his hands but still struggled to use his shoulders to place them where he wanted, I tended to rush to help. He would say no please let me do that by myself. I felt he was tiring himself for stuff he could be helped. So finally he explained that he was tired of having to discuss this and he told me the story of the hummingbird that did its share. He would then say “ let me do my share”
I finally got the message and never insisted again to help. So he felt freer to ask when he really wanted.
I got a hummingbird tattooed on my arm.
 

Kristina1

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MarieLaure that is such a great story behind your tattoo I love that
 

KimT

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I tend to push myself beyond my limits and that hasn't changed. I understand wanting to do things for yourself, but I'd like people to help me more. It's my own fault.

I think one of the things that came out when I interviewed all the PALS and CALS was that it's important to respect PALS wishes. People never bring me things to eat because they know I only eat certain things. It would be nice if someone, once in awhile, would cook me some fish or bring me some organic produce.

I've set up a system to meet my needs now and that system will and must evolve to include others who will assist. No doubt most of it will be paid help.

I had a Christmas party for the people I play cards with. I've only known most of them for less than two years. I was so grateful that one of the men drove 50 miles to Whole Foods to pick up my order and people actually stayed and helped me clean up. Living here has already been a blessing.
 

MarieLaure

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Really glad you found a good place with good people
Kim
Hugs
 
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