I remember this question clearly. I was speaking on “The Power of Networking” for a women’s group. It was after I had said, “Think about how you can help this person”. The woman seemed frustrated saying that she felt women were always the ones helping others and why do we always have to help?
It was a good question and I know where it was coming from. A lot of women are told even as young girls to help others, to put other’s needs before themselves, and sometimes that other’s needs are more important than their own. There are many people-pleasers out there, and it can very frustrating when you feel your own needs are not being met.
Sometimes certain words can bring up different connotations. It made me think about other words to convey the same message. What if I had said “How can you contribute or add value to this person?” – would it have provoked the same response?
One of my all-time favourite books is The Go-Giver and there, they talk about “giving value” and “staying open to receiving”. It’s an important reminder that we can’t just give give give, we also have to receive, just like breathing in and out.
There’s a lot of questions to answer. What do I need? Am I open to receive? Where am I open to help, contribute or add value?