Sunday, January 17, 2021

Asking for support is a sign of strength, not weakness

A tree being held up by a concrete support in the shape of a hand
Tree getting a helping hand

We all experience times of vulnerability in our lives. It is not a comfortable feeling. One fairly common way to deal with this discomfort it to attempt to ignore, deny or bury it. 

But a healthier way of approaching vulnerability is to ask for support. There may be a social stigma attached, as if needing support is a weakness, as if you should be able to deal with vulnerability on your own. But don’t let potential stigma stop you. Seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

We know that “social isolation resulting from inadequate social support leads to loneliness, depression, and vulnerability, and subsequently to other adverse health problems,” as documented recently in multiple populations including aging Vietnamese and Italians with eating disorders. Research shows that social relationships have a moderating role and are a “potential influence on stress resilience, … vulnerability to infection and adverse health outcomes.”

When you offer support to someone who needs it, you end up feeling better yourself. Allow someone you trust to get that happy sensation by asking them to help and support you,

For the research behind the validity of vulnerability as a positive, please watch the TEDTalk by BrenĂ© Brown. Her research shows that those who embrace their vulnerability as a necessary part of their humanity, their connection to others, do so with courage, compassion, and authentic interpersonal connections. 

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