Serious question here. What do you hear in your head when someone says those words to you?
“Let me know if you need anything.”
I personally hear “Oh that is cute, they are making themselves feel better.”
Maybe I am jaded, maybe I am just weird, ok ok.. we all know I am weird. But hear me out here.
(there are a lot of hears and heres in this)
Ok back to my point. If I am going through something that you feel that I may need some kind of assistance with, why would you not say “I see you are really loaded down right now, I am going to make you dinner on Tuesday, does this work for you?” Instead of the get out of jail free card “Let me know if you need anything.” You already see that I need something, you already know that I am likely not going to ask anyone, including you, for any of the things I need, so why oh why do we as a collective even use those words??
My thoughts are as above, it is a get out of jail free card. So when things come crashing down around those that were in need, we can sit back and say… “Well I offered to help” and we are able to watch someone else’s struggle with no regret. When in truth all we truly did was put yet another burden on the one who is already burdened. It is easier for the person to say.. “No no.. I got it” because..
1. Who wants to admit they NEED something.
2. Who in that situation has time to think of what they need
3. Who is going to burden someone else with .. “You know if you could just fold that load of laundry for me and walk my dog that would be a great help!”
Before I go any further, I want everyone to know I am NOT innocent in this. It is a work in progress. But I have noticed that when I make a statement like “Hey, let me bring you dinner tonight.” The likelihood of the response being “Thank you so much, that would be so kind of you, you don’t know how much I appreciate this.” Increases tenfold! Even better than the “Hey let me…” is the “I’m stopping by for a second this afternoon, no need to prepare I am not staying just need to drop something off with you.” And that something be a dinner that can be heated at a later day, a coupon for a paid house cleaning, a gift certificate to a local restaurant with a note that you will pick up a to go from them when they are ready to use it etc etc, use your imagination. The things that you would appreciate are probably some of the same things that another would appreciate.
We need to be more mindful of what others need and how we can help them, and not with our own “oh I feel better now” actions.
What if I told you I am completely and totally overwhelmed with life right now, what would your response be? (I’m not I don’t need a casserole J )
Would you look for ways to help me or would you put the ball in my court to tell you how to help?
I can promise you one thing.. people in crisis do NOT know how you can help, because they are thinking of the 2374838947238943827 things that they have to do in a lump and there just is not time to pull out bits and pieces of it to relay to you. We need to be better. We need to do better. We need to THINK BETTER.
On the very tail end of this we do need to address what happens when the “Let me know how to help” turns into, “Hey, listen, next week is incredibly busy with (enter important stuff) is there anyway at all you could (fill in blank with things like… watch my child, walk my dog, cook a meal, take x to an appointment, sit with ….. )? It is REALLY unlikely that this will happen, but in the off chance you have someone who is more put together than I when overwhelmed, please please please please please do not respond with..”Ohhhh I would but…. “. This should never ever be your answer. It should not even be “Let me see what I can juggle around..” if you can at all help it do NOT put that burden back. Make it work! If you need to juggle.. JUGGLE.. but don’t let the person asking you know because they will simply retract the request. Don’t worry though, as I said chance are that won’t happen.
I wish we were better humans, I wish we didn’t lay down meaningless statements, I wish we could just see the little things that would help others in such tremendous ways as blessings and not as burdens.
I wish that when it all comes to an end that you don’t have regrets of … I should have… because you could have.
Peace, love and light.