“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
— Ernest Hemingway
Here’s your midweek newsletter — a gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive.
Learning To Ask For & Accepting Help
I didn’t have the most cheerful adolescence. I grappled with a lot of issues that I’ve only now started to understand and sort through. Over the past few years, I’ve become much more open and clear-headed about myself, in general.
That said, I grew up on all sorts of stories in shonen manga and superhero comics. That, in turn, coupled with a few experiences that still shape how I go about my days created an idea in my head that helping others, especially those around me, is important. It became a sort of complex until I reeled it back in if we’re being honest.
While I try my best to help people in my immediate vicinity when I can, I am terrible at asking for help. That happens because of two reasons which I am starting to understand now. The first is that as the designated helper in my headcanon, I cannot be the person who needs help. The second is that I am used to “figuring it out” on my own, often with great difficulty, that even when I ask for help, I fail to accept it.
So when last week a few of my friends decided to help me through a mini-crisis of sorts and when they did that in a way that was more assertive, I suddenly snapped out of those two false beliefs in my headcanon I’ve mentioned above.
It was then that I internalised something I’ve tried wrapping my head around for a long time: to help others, to maintain trust in the fact that you can help them, you need to be willing to accept help when you need it too. The brooding, self-loathing superhero should be left to the golden age of comics.
We’re in a different time and age, and being accepting of help when you need it shows more strength and character than doing otherwise. Being there for others when they need you and asking them to be there for you when you need them are two sides of the same coin.
To Read: The First Forty-Nine Stories by Ernest Hemingway
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
I’m a Hemingway-nut. I enjoy reading his work. I love the way he creates characters and connects them through stories. In my opinion, I love how grounded Hemingway’s writing is, and how he keeps his stories believable. You can feel that they come from a place of observation instead of pure imagination. I especially enjoy reading Nick Adams’ stories who appears in many of his works. In any case, if you’re looking to get an introduction to Hemingway’s work, this might be the best book to get started.
What’s On My Mind?
Something my therapist said when I was going for therapy a couple of years ago. She gave an analogy about how we tend to push our messes under the rug before people come over. Over time, we forget about what’s under the carpet until one day; the apartment starts to stink. The first thing that happens when we lift the rug is that the apartment starts to smell, but that’s necessary too. If we never lift the carpet, we can never begin cleaning.
Quick Update on Nudge › How
Last week, I discussed work styles on the blog. I wrote about my experience with the upsides and downsides of working as a lone wolf and the cogwheel. In other words, I talked about learning to switch between my work styles based on the situation. Also, I talked about the one crucial separator which determines how I work.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.
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