1. Not Asking For Help
When it comes to self-development, there is a lot to be said about the “lone wolf” mentality. Or the “being independent” attitude.
But it all comes down to this: you are strong and you can do it on your own. You don’t need anybody’s help (even, or especially, those who care about you). In fact, needing someone’s help means that you are weak.
And that is garbage. This is a claim that I can support, in fact.
Look, I get it. I wholeheartedly support the notion of being a strong individual who is able to provide for himself. And I totally despise the idea of being dependent on people’s anything to get by through your daily life.
But not asking for help when you really need it, and claiming that this is what fucking lone wolves do as a demonstration of strength, is nothing but plain insecurity.
There are two problems with not asking for help when you need it the most.
First, asking for help means admitting that you don’t know. From an “insecurity” point of view, not knowing may mean that we are weak and inadequate.
I don’t want people to think I’m suffering. Let me project this strong image to them and handle my own shit by myself. After all, what would they think of me if they knew that I’m suffering this way?
Or it could be out of plain arrogance and narcissism. You falsely, and naively, believe that you have all the answers. You believe that you can do everything by yourself.
So you never ask for help because you believe that people are not qualified enough to help you.
Both of these reasons scream insecurity and fear. They are about not being brave enough to admit you are doing something wrong. Not being brave enough to admit that maybe you are just a vulnerable human. Not being brave enough to admit that other people can bring value to your life.
What is surprising is that people who can’t ask for help are usually the same people who want to help everybody with everything. We are good at solving other people’s problems and really bad at solving ours.
That made me puzzled for a long time. I wondered whether it is genuine help or not.
And one day I read something that made sense. It went, “if you assign judgment to receiving help, you will also assign judgment to giving help.” ~Brene Brown.
Think about it. If you believe that receiving help means that you are weak, then you will unconsciously assume that those people you are helping are weak as well.
The help we proudly offer others is not genuine until we are able to ask for help and accept it without judgment.
Now don’t get this wrong and go out there begging for people’s help. Asking for help is an art. It requires social skills and some social intelligence.
First, you must double check your intentions. You must stop believing that asking for help is a weakness. Weakness is holding back while suffering because 1) you are afraid of looking weak. 2) You are too arrogant.
Second, you should pick carefully those you are seeking help from. Usually, they should be able to help you. And if you are asking for help regarding a personal issue, it’s better to ask someone who cares about you and who is non-judgmental.
Not asking for help is not strength. Strong people are able to be brave and ask for help when they need it. They are willing to raise their hands and say that they don’t know. Unlike those who nod their heads pretending that they know it all.
This is a tricky one because humor is a good thing, isn’t it?
Humor, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. It can be a good thing. But good things can be used in destructive ways.
And sarcasm can be destructive when we use it a) to project our insecurities into other people, or b) as a distraction. A way to escape your problems. To not face your problems and feel less guilty about that.
In either case, the person will be too sarcastic. Too sarcastic here means either overusing sarcasm or using it in extreme ways.
When you use sarcasm to project your insecurities onto other people and make them feel bad about themselves, you are just being an asshole bully. There is nothing funny about making fun of other people to the point of making them feel insecure.
People who do this will not understand this fact easily. They will understand it, however, when they themselves become the victim of such bullying.
When you use sarcasm as a distraction method, it also sucks. I know people who are sarcastic and hilarious, but they will admit that they, deep down, are lonely and scared.
Most of their social interactions are spent making fun of something or someone. But you can’t build meaningful relationships with people by having conversations that include nothing but sarcasm.
In this case, sarcasm is just a shield that keeps the people around them away from knowing the real them.
It also can be a mask. By making fun of everything and (especially) everyone, they get to project that superior image of being cool and aloof. The desire to project the image of being cool and aloof screams insecurity louder than anything because it’s about impressing other people.
Last but not least, sometimes we use sarcasm because it makes life appear simpler. Humor can help you cope better with your problems somehow. And as much as that is a good thing, it also can be a bad thing.
Sarcasm will be yet another escapement method to run away from difficulties while feeling superior to others because, well, you are making fun of everyone and everything. And your problems will hardly be taken seriously anymore. After all, you get a quick relief from laughing at your problems with other hundred people who are doing the same (because sarcasm is popular). So, your problems can’t be that bad, can they?
There is no pride in refusing to take your life and problems seriously. You don’t become boring when you do that; you become responsible and dependable.
I am not saying that people who use sarcasm are not serious. Good humor is nice at the right time. As I’ve said, humor can be a healthy coping mechanism. What I am saying is that you need to be careful about why you are using humor and sarcasm in the first place. And be honest with yourself because It can get out of control at times.
If it is a way to cope with stress and after that get back to your life more refreshed, go for it. If it is used for one of the reasons we discussed above, then you might need to take things a bit seriously before you yourself become another subject for sarcasm.
As a personal opinion, I believe that sarcasm is bad. It’s an indirect type of hostility and bullying. It’s humor abused.
In an ideal world, being perfect would be the norm. Equally, in a world that is anything but ideal, being imperfect would be the norm.
And in the real world, our less-than-ideal world, perfectionism is motivated by fear.
Every time I try to write perfect articles, and spend weeks with no progress, I know that I am afraid of something.
Of failure. Like, if my article wasn’t perfect, I would fail. Of criticism. Like, if my article was perfect and good enough, no one would ever say something bad about it or about me. And overall, of judgment.
Every time I stress about making my lectures perfect, I end up doing bad. The students sense the inauthenticity and the fear which is driving it.
When you try to be perfect in the eye of the people, you are trying to wow them to perceive you as a competent and a good enough person. You are trying to avoid their judgment and disapproval.
And in either case, fear and insecurity are the driving forces.
Nothing ever is going to be liked by everybody. Everything has an imperfect side. And that’s OK. It’s those imperfections that are going to make people like you and connect with you. People are attracted to each other’s rough edges.
And because being perfect is something that can’t be done, it will hurt you. It will kill your progress. It will make your interactions and experiences shallow because the deep, intense experiences in life require showing the imperfect version of you to the world.
Unlike the 2 behaviors mentioned in this article, perfectionism is always bad.
I don’t want to make this long. A lot has been written about perfectionism. And I’ve written about it and shared some of my own struggle with it. You can find all that here: