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Why We Refuse Help

It is important that we keep our hearts open to accepting help and support from others. In fact, this is every bit as important as keeping our hearts open to helping others in need. How would we feel if we really wanted to help someone and they wouldn’t accept our help? We would feel pretty bad. Keeping this in mind, we can be receptive when somebody offers their help to us.

Once I told one of my students to do something to help others if he could. So, one day the winter was pretty severe in the region where he lives. He went to the store and bought a big pile of warm jackets and other things. Then he went out to give them to people who were living under the highway. But when he tried to hand out these beautiful new jackets, nobody wanted them! At the end of the day, when not one person would accept his offer of clothing, he felt horrible!

When we are in need but our heart is not open to others’ power to help us, we respond like those people who were cold but refused a jacket.

Why can’t we accept help? First, we may feel envy or jealousy towards others’ capabilities, power, or strength. We may feel resentful of what they’re able to give. And secondly, we may be hesitant to receive help out of a sense of personal pride. Both of these mind states block us from accepting the reality of interdependence.

It’s worth noting that those who cannot accept help from others also usually seem to have difficulty genuinely giving help to others.

Opening the Doors to Your Heart

As we’ve heard many times, giving is receiving, and receiving is giving. Why? Because when you’re able to receive, you’re giving someone the chance to give. You’re helping someone who really wants to offer their assistance or support. And that’s your gift to the giver.

Someone wants to help and you’re generously giving them that chance. I’ve had many conversations with my friends in the West who say they have difficulty accepting generosity. That’s good in many ways, but there’s also a sense of arrogance there which is not so cool. That sense of, “Oh, I don’t need help.” There’s an arrogance there, or pride. 

If we really understand how interdependence works, there shouldn’t be any issue with opening our hearts and accepting someone’s offer of assistance. So don’t hesitate to ask for help! It’s part of the mechanism of interdependence; we help each other. It’s not like you’re always going to be the recipient. You’re also going to be the giver. 

Don’t we have a song that goes, “Help / I need somebody/ Help/ Not just anybody/ Help”? I was looking at those lyrics recently and I think they’re quite good. The song says, “I never needed anybody’s help in any way/ But now, those days are gone / I’m not so self-assured.” Isn’t that nice? “I’m not so self-assured.” It’s a helpful reminder. We need to be a little bit selfish. And the song goes on, “Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.” 

That’s the whole point. We can change our mind and open up more. Isn’t that wonderful? We should open up the doors of our heart. Don’t keep them closed.

This opening of our heart is the key to our success in our life journey. It’s a journey that involves mastering interdependence. And to do that, we have to work with our usual arrogance, our ignorance, by opening our heart and accepting the generosity of others, allowing them to give us their help and support.


1. With an open heart, we can both give and receive help from others

2. Envy, jealousy, and pride prevent us from accepting help and understanding interdependence

3. Giving is receiving, receiving is giving

4. Open the doors of your heart and accept others’ generosity


To learn more, check out the meditations, short videos, and courses on freshmind.info.