I’ve noticed that when I’m carrying lots of bundles, usually my overstuffed tote-bag full of music scores balanced against a huge yoga bag on the other shoulder, I get offers of assistance. When I was younger, my knee-jerk response was to say “No, thanks. I got it.” Maybe this was some kind of post-feminist buzz I carried along with my stuff, like saying no man, I can do it on my own.
But now I’m older, if not wiser, and I’ve started to realize that I was missing out on a big opportunity to connect. If I let a person help me I usually get a nice smile, or here in New England a reserved head nod, which I happen to love. I also get a moment to walk with them or share a brief to chat. They are giving me valued help, and I’m also valuing their offer in return. I think the other person might feel pretty good as they help me schlep my gear, I know I feel satisfaction when I’m of service to others. So why not allow both of us to experience connection and to feel joy by being of service to one another ?
I’ve come to recognize that when someone offers to help me, it’s a type of present. The other person is gifting me time and effort, and I like to receive the gift with grace. So now when someone asks me You need a hand? I smile, connect and say Yes, thank you, that would be awesome.