“What can I do for you?” a familiar question one might hear when they are over burdened and of course the individual asking is truly looking for an answer. People ask because they honestly want to be of help, of service so to speak so why would you NOT have an answer for them that would allow that other someone to actually DO something to help you? See, many people don’t respond to the asking with the answer that brings the situation full circle because they have issues with letting people help them, issues that have the potential to keep them forever detached from the very thing they need in life and that is to feel useful. How in the world can that make any sense? Glad you asked!
When we perceive ourselves to be in need, we tend to feel useless, as though we have nothing to contribute to anything so when someone asks us how they can be of use to us, we might tend to blow it off, reject their offer and stay mired in our circumstances. Because if we can figure it out on our own then we are cool, we are smart we are competent and that somehow elevates us from the useless to the useful status. Yet by allowing that person to help us, we have been useful to them, we have provided a valuable opportunity to elevate their status. People are only heroes if there is someone to rescue; there is no triumph if there is no adversity.
When you are asked if there is anything someone can do for you, there might not be anything at that time and naturally the polite response of no thank you is genuine and sincere and then it is up to the inquisitor as to how they deal with that. And there are those times when in order to do ones job properly a question MUST be ASKED such as in the case of the wait staff at the restaurant or the sales clerk who want to know how they can help you that day. In these cases it really doesn’t seem to have a direct correlation to elevation of status at the moment but down the road it most certainly may for there are performance reviews that could be the springboards for raises and promotions. But these illustrations are provided to show the differences of when we might see the logic in responding to the question and allow that person to help us versus when we do not and that logic is connected to how we see OURSELVES in the equation; do we see ourselves as helpful or helpless.
So ask yourself this, if I knew that by allowing others to demonstrate their eagerness to be of help in my life that I was actually contributing to the health and happiness of the entire world would it make a difference in how I responded? If I saw myself as a hero providing the opportunity for someone else to express their gifts and talents to their fullest would it make a difference in how I responded? If I understood that I was helping someone else feel as good I do when I am allowed to be of help to someone else would it make a difference in how I responded? Ask yourself the tough questions NOW so when you hear that simple question being asked of you the next time…