The "no" is automatic. Just like the way we say "no" to our children when they ask for ice cream before dinner, a later bedtime, or permission to travel overnight with their totally responsible friends. The same word comes immediately to our lips when someone asks, "Do you need help?"
We turn down help for the mundane -- schlepping our groceries to the car -- and the trivial ("No, I can bake all 430 cupcakes by myself, thanks.) all the time. We're so unpracticed at accepting help that when we need it, we don't even realize how overworked we are.
Think for a moment. Can you even remember the last time you accepted someone's offer of help? Probably not, because we've been trained to believe that we shouldn't need help. We've been taught that we're strong, and we don't need anyone.
In other words, we've been set up for complete failure.
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