“In business, like they say, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate”- Jay-Z
You get what you negotiate, or even simpler, you get what you ask for. I’ve often heard people bemoan (and I used to say it myself), “why doesn’t anyone see that I need help?” If you are someone that jumps in and offers help without being asked, then you incorrectly assume that someone will do the same for you. The flip side of being someone that is helpful is that you also rarely ask for help. So, the combination of being helpful and not asking for help creates a belief in people’s minds that you don’t need help.
One thing to remember about people is that we, as human beings, don’t tend to think that other people are like us. We create perceptions and assumptions about the lives of other people. If we have problems and someone else seems happy, we assume that they don’t have any problems. If we have no money and they have expensive things, we assume that they are happy. If our relationship is terrible and they seem loving, we think that they must be in a loving relationship. We create a perception bubble of everyone in our life and it’s only when that bubble is burst that we begin to see people as they are. It’s not personal. It’s the way our mind works. The mind makes a decision or assignment of what we think is happening and stores it with that person.
The only way to change the perception of who you are is to be more of who you really are. If you continue to act as if you are a person that doesn’t need anyone, then no one will think you need them. It doesn’t mean that you have to suddenly become incapacitated to get someone to realize that you need help. It means that you have to ask for it. Now, I bet the ego is saying, “Why should I have to ask? It’s so unfair that I have to ask when they never have to ask me.” This may be right, but you have to take responsibility for part of the perception. The people who are in your life that you show up for and take care of have taught you that they need you to show up and take care of them. In return, you have taught them that you don’t need them to return the favor. So, it’s your job to teach them the truth. The truth is that you need help sometimes. You have to face that truth first and then you have to ask. It’s also important how you ask for help. You should ask in the way that you would like to be asked for help.
As with any change, you should be prepared to find out that people can’t or won’t help you. You may find out that they were taking advantage of the fact that you are always willing to help without asking for help in return. When you set boundaries in your life is when you will find out the truth about the people in your life. Often, we resist making changes because we know, in our hearts, that people are going to disappoint us. Some people will show up and others will show you who they are. It might hurt for a while, but it is an opportunity to replace those people with more people you can depend on. Again, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. Negotiate that you receive what you need in every relationship. You’re running the business of your life. It’s important to know who deserves to be fired and who deserves a promotion. If you feel bad about losing some of your friends, someone once said to me, “We don’t fire people, they fire themselves.”
“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” ― Henry Cloud