One of the most upsetting or potentially depressing things that can happen to us humans is being disappointed or outrightly refused when we turn to people – especially close ones – for help. It’s extremely hard to stay positive under such circumstances.
This feeling of disappointment or embarrassment if not properly handled can have a very negative effect on our emotions in a number of ways:
– It might result in resentment and hatred.
– It might cause us to become paranoid. We start to think that because someone has refused to help us, it must be that human beings generally don’t like to help or that we are hated or even that the would-be helper is just plain chauvinist.
– It can kill our confidence or self-esteem and cause us to give up on finding help elsewhere.
– It can damage long-term relationships beyond repair.
I’m pretty sure we can think of many more ways we have suffered mentally and emotionally when we have been turned down in our time of need. Hence, having established some of the possible deleterious effects of this type of disappointment, I’ll like to suggest some ways we can process this experience positively.
1. My mom used to say and still reminds me that… “Remember, who ever doesn’t help today may be of even bigger help tomorrow. So, don’t be resentful, just move on without any expectations; but remain open-minded”. I have come to really appreciate this piece of advice because I have at least kept a minimum level of relationship with close people who disappointed me on little things and ended up being very helpful at crucial moments in my life.
2. For every one who refuses to help – as long as you don’t give up and keep moving on – you are a step closer to your Help. Therefore rejection is part of the journey to Success. If you have not been disappointed or rejected you probably haven’t ventured yet.
|Staying positive for progress|
3. At times a bit of self-introspection would reveal that we are the reasons why people or someone in particular might be reluctant to help us. It could be our reputation or even our way of life. You can’t expect someone who sees that you lead a very profligate and ostentatious life to be willing to lend you some money to start your latest business idea. These disappointments can serve as a catalyst for a much needed change in our attitude to life if we are willing to reflect and are honest enough to admit our shortcomings. Some people are such chronic debtors that a few years down the line after they might have forgotten about a bad debt they then return to their lender (victim).
4. One of my biggest personal philosophies in life is that… “When people don’t help, they have not taken from us, only refused to add to us. And as such we shouldn’t take it personal”. They might have declined the chance to be a blessing to us but neither have they taken anything from us. Yes we may not appreciate them but we don’t have to be bitter about them either. .
5. Disappointments or denials if positively processed can help us discover potentials, strengths or abilities we never thought we possessed in a way that bitterness or despondency never will.
I’d love to underline this point with one of my favourite quotes of all time…
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice”.- Bob Marley
To cap it all up, we have to realize that as human beings we would need help from others from time to time, and that we would not always get help at the time we need it, from the first person we approach or the one we most banked on – for different reasons.
Sometimes people are going through crisis that we can never imagine and they don’t want to share with us. For example, a once wealthy uncle who though still lives in a mansion has fallen on hard times. Other times, it is because time and again people have got their fingers burnt, careers wrecked, names tarnished or reputation soiled when they have helped someone.
The bottomline is… we don’t have to be ashamed, restrained, bitter, despondent or paranoid when we are turned down. There is every thing noble in seeking help for the right reasons.