Today more than ever we are connected. We’re connected online, through our phones, we have apps and platforms and even text messaging therapists – and yet most of us are still afraid to ask for help.
The top reasons people don’t ask for help – because they don’t want to look stupid or weak.
Additionally, people didn’t want to be a bother to others.
What it boils down to is that people don’t feel they are worthy of help. They don’t believe they are worthy of asking others to invest in them. Helping someone requires effort, and most of us don’t believe we deserve that effort.
And yet, when someone asks you for help, you’re very likely more than willing to lend a hand.
There’s a huge disconnect.
So how do you get over the fear of asking for help?
Remind yourself that asking for help is really a sign of strength. It takes courage to put yourself out there and admit you don’t know all the answers. It also takes strength to be vulnerable. At one time you may have asked for help only to be rejected. That’s scary stuff, but most people really want to help. And for those who turn away – well, it says more about them than it does about you.
We are all connected. And asking for help is just one way to strengthen that connection. Receiving help doesn’t mean you’re indebted to someone, it means your more connected. Instead of feeling like you owe the person who helped you, you can feel gratitude that you know someone who is so generous.
No matter what your burden – you don’t understand a question in math class and would like some more assistance in understanding it or you’re a new mom who really needs 30 minutes away from the baby to shower and nap – we all need help at one time or another. People are usually more than willing to offer assistance to those in need.
Of course, how we ask is important, too. Take the new mother for example. She’s worn out, tired, frustrated and probably hasn’t showered in a few days. When you’re that exhausted it’s difficult to ask for help in a calm and rational way. If you could, you would have, right? No, what happens is her expectations aren’t met (new moms need help, therefore someone will pitch in – like dad or grandma – to assist her) and she becomes upset. She’s already got hormones racing through her body and she hasn’t slept more than two hours at a time. She’s probably going to demand help, become passive aggressive or fall into a heap on the floor and cry until someone comes along and picks her up.
It’s important to ask for help before you start throwing things at your helper or crying in a heap on the floor.
A simple “I’m struggling and could use a little help” can go really far.
The next time you find yourself in need of help, go ahead and ask. You’ll be surprised to learn that people want to help, are looking for ways to connect and are eager to give of themselves.
Remember that we will all be in need of help several times throughout our lives. Asking for help and giving help are part of the grand scheme of things, part of the yin and the yang. It’s okay to ask for help.