Peta Todd on why we find it difficult to ask for help when in need

I say yes to things I know are too much for me and turn down help for fear that someone else wouldn’t do it to the same level as I would.

My nature is to be a people pleaser – to make sure everybody else is OK even if that is to my detriment.

I have always been a capable lass and I generally manage to keep all the balls in the air but sometimes, as we all know, life often throws in the odd extra one just to keep you on your toes.

It is then that my ability to remain calm and push through comes to the fore, but I also slam down my shutters to all help.

Maybe it makes it worse that I know I will cut off my nose to spite my face and will stay up until 2am instead of sharing the load.

No one likes a martyr, do they? But it is so deeply rooted in me that it would take a huge effort to change.

There are a handful of people in my tribe that I vent at when things get on top of me, not generally to ask for help, though.

Without my BFFs, I’d be screwed.

They have known me since school and seen my highs, lows and in-betweens.

They will listen to me moan about the same problems, suggest solutions and watch me ignore them and still be there to do it all over again, as I do the same for them.

Is the help we give day-to- day always physical?


I am not round at theirs doing their ironing (mainly because I hate ironing) but knowing that I am there for them – and them for me – makes me feel secure.

Other times our help is physical – a break from cooking or changing a nappy.

But mainly just a friendly face to tell you that even though you look rough as a badger’s a**e they love you anyway is enough.

As the years roll by, I try to work on myself and ask for a bit of help when I need it. I know that sometimes I just need someone to give me five minutes to myself so my head doesn’t explode.

But changing my mindset around the notion that taking help is weak is my biggest hurdle. Can I do it all? Yes, probably.

Do I have to do it all? Absolutely not!

So don’t be me, up until the crack of dawn battling with my biggest adversary – myself.

I might be the winner but when I’m walking around like an angry zombie the next day, I’ll be the loser too.

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