How to Respond When People Decline Your Offer for Help: Just Show Up
Two days post-surgery, a friend texted to ask if there was anything she could do to help.
“No, thanks. I’m fine.” A typical response in my usual avoidance to accept help.
“Well, if anything changes, let me know. I’d be happy to come over. I know how lonely it can be.”
Two days later, loneliness began to set in. I wish I could say I sent her a text and asked her to come over, but I didn’t. I suffered alone even when I knew she would have been right over had I let her in on how I was feeling.
A New Approach: Just Show Up
Both patients and caregivers struggle with increased burdens during difficult seasons. Asking for help is yet another burden amid overwhelming times.
In my experience, “no thanks, I’m fine” is a response I have given and received too many times to count. On the receiving end, I often feel unsure of what to do. I want to help but don’t know how to move forward. When the tables are turned—like in the situation above—those on the receiving end are left to deal with similar emotions.
If you face similar struggles, I want to introduce you to an organization I discovered last year: IANA Care. Their mantra? Just show up.
The team at IANA Care, recognizing the struggle for patients and caregivers to ask for and accept help, created an app to help alleviate some of the burdens. The app allows people to just show up and fulfill specific needs such as meals, rides, respite care, house care, pet care, errands, etc. As a patient/caregiver, the app is used as a medium to express a need without feeling as if you are placing a burden on a specific individual. Friends and family can show up in a way that best suits their skills and abilities while serving a specific need.
To learn more about IANA Care and the vision of the cofounders, view this video.
“We are not meant to carry the burden alone.”Jessica Kim, IANA Care Co-founder
This post is not sponsored in any way. As a patient who would have benefitted from this resource, I hope to spread awareness and lessen the burdens others face during difficult seasons. If you or someone you know could benefit from the app, I encourage you to download the app to determine if it is a good fit.
Stop Asking, Start Doing
These days—acknowledging my natural inclination to decline help—whenever I anticipate a similar response, I change my approach. I simply show up. When a specific action is laid on my heart, I try to take immediate action.
Asking for help isn’t easy. Whether family or friends are using the app or not, remember to just show up.
+ Cook a meal and leave it on the porch.
+ Provide a gift card to a restaurant that will deliver.
+ Drop off baked goods in the mailbox.
+ Fold laundry while you visit.
+ Bring over cleaning supplies and give the kitchen a quick scrub.
These seemingly small actions make a world of difference. The app is one resource that may ease the burden that you or your loved ones face. Never forget that you are not alone even amid difficult and unexpected days.