Are You a Friend or a Benefactor?
When you randomly encounter the same person twice in one week, you take notice, right? What happens when it’s a new concept that lands in your lap back-to-back?
Recently, the concept of the difference between a friend and a benefactor showed up in my life twice: once in a book and once in an MEA workshop. Until then, I’d never really distinguished between the two.
I’ve always prided myself on being generous with my time, attention, and money to support my friends and family and the broader MEA community. But, there have also been times when I’ve had too much pride to ask for help.
A benefactor gives gifts without expecting anything in return. A friend, on the other hand, gives and receives, knowing there are times when they may need to start a conversation with, “I could use your help….”
Upon reflection, I’ve come to realize that this might be the most important sentence you - the one in need - can offer a friend. It gives your friend the gift of being able to support you, which is particularly important if you’re someone - like me - who doesn’t like to ask for help.
We all know friends who are “mooches,” always asking for something. In some ways, they can be just as challenging as the ones who never ask for anything.
So, this week, I’m going to ask you for a few things, and I’m hoping you’ll be supportive, as I’m a little tired of being the rugged individualist who can’t ask for help. Plus, I’ve found out that I need to start hormone suppression therapy again for my cancer starting next week and will be doing 7-8 weeks of radiation later this fall. I’ll still be working, but with a reduced schedule and I have so much confidence in our awesome MEA team. Our team has “got this” and I’m so proud of them.
Here’s a video of me from the Austrian alps talking about my next round of cancer treatment.
Here’s my first “ask” as I want to tap into your wisdom: How do you ask for help from friends when you feel embarrassed to do so? I’d love to learn some best practices.