There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, asking for help is a sign of your strength of character. Are you someone who has trouble asking for assistance when you need it or do not know how to do something? Do not worry. Most of us have been there at some time in our lives. Why do you think this is? Perhaps it is because you think asking for help is admitting you are inadequate or will appear weak. Maybe you do not want others to know you are struggling and want to project an image of someone always in control.
Get over it. When you make asking for help negative, it only hurts you. Needing help does not mean you are inadequate. Asking for help only means you need a hand for a specific time. So rather than seeing your need for help as a burden, think of it as an opportunity to allow others in.
Did you know that confident people often ask others for help? They know that doing everything themselves is not the best use of their energy, time or skills. People who are confident seek out someone with the skills they need and then ask for help or advice. They understand that asking for help demonstrates respect for the other person’s skills and knowledge. Rather than being a weakness, asking for help is a sign of strength.
The inability to ask for help is counterproductive. And it can negatively affect your confidence and self-esteem when you do a poor job, or it takes too much time.
At some point in time even the strongest and most confident people need help. What is most is important is knowing when you need help.
Reasons that prevent you asking for help
There are many reasons people find it difficult to ask for help. A 2015 study of depressed men found they did not ask for help for the following reasons:
- Feeling embarrassed about what they need help for.
- Did not feel it was worth asking for help.
- Did not want to talk about their feelings.
- Do not know who to ask.
- Would feel as though they were weak.
Fear and pride seem to be at the centre of why people do not ask for help. Also, a lack of self-worth and self-esteem may prevent you from seeking help. Others worry that by admitting to their weaknesses, it will further erode their self-esteem. Then there are those who feel helpless. They believe that others will not help them no matter who they ask.
Asking for help takes courage
When struggling with mental health issues or if you need help with the kids, it takes courage to ask for help. But pretending you can manage and have everything under control does not display mental strength. It is acting tough. Suppressing your emotions and concealing your weaknesses will not make you feel better. Instead, remind yourself that admitting you do not know all the answers means you are strong enough to ask for help. This means that you are trying to deal with the emotions that make you feel uncomfortable, such as fear and embarrassment. You are also prepared to be vulnerable.
Here are some tips to make it easier to ask for help.
Change your perspective
If someone asked you for help, what would you do? Say yes if you thought you could help? So why is it that you feel you do not need help even though sometimes you struggle? Instead of seeing needing help as a weakness, change your perspective. See it as a strength and an opportunity to share positive time with others and to learn something new. After all, achieving your objective with someone’s help is better than failing altogether or not achieving it at all.
Look after yourself
Make time to look after yourself. Self-care is important. It is all so easy to neglect your needs when you are busy trying to do everything. After a while you may become frustrated at doing it all and eventually burnout. And if you let it continue, you can become anxious and depressed. So, it is important to take some time out to look after yourself every day. It can be a five-minute pampering session before bed, reading a good book or a brisk walk after work. It does not matter what it is. Whatever works for you in the time you have. It will clear your head and help you relax. Doing this will help you change your perspective and attitude to asking for help.
Re-evaluate your priorities
All through life there are times where you need to make major changes. And this is never easy, whether it is personally or professionally. Re-evaluating your priorities allows you to focus on what you truly want, and on the people you care about most. It is important to reassess your life at times to ensure it is the best life you can live. And you cannot achieve this without asking for help. Asking for help strengthens all parts of your life and gives you a positive outlook.
Once you start asking for help, your perception will shift. You will be able to focus on the important things in your life.
Instead of dropping hints or looking sad hoping someone will respond to your needs, be direct. Explain clearly how they can help you. Do not apologise or waffle on, there is no need for it. People respect you when you get to the point. Make it easy for someone to help you. And it is also important to ask the right person for help. There is no point asking someone who does not have the time, skills or knowledge to help you. This will only set you up to fail.
How to ask for help
When you know who the best person is to ask for help, choose the best time to approach them. Avoid approaching them when they are busy. In fact, if they are busy, it could be a good time to offer your help.
How will you communicate?
How will you communicate your need for help? Telephone, instant message, face-to-face or by email? How you communicate with someone will depend on where each of you are physically located. It will also depend on the relationship between you and what you need help with. You can start by testing out their availability with a short message. Outline what help you need and gauge whether they are willing to help from their answer.
But whatever method you choose, make your request detailed. People are less likely to respond to a general call for help especially if you do not get to the point, so they understand what you need clearly.
Be confident in your approach when you ask for help. Most people are happy to share what they know and may even be flattered you asked. When you appear on edge or nervous, they may be hesitant to get involved as they do not understand urgency. They may even misunderstand or question your motives.
Benefits of asking for help
A negative mindset can interpret a request for help as a sign of weakness. And the advice from others is to exhaust all other alternatives before making yourself vulnerable to someone else. The problem with this is you miss out on the benefits of asking for help. Here are some of the top benefits.
We are naturally social beings. We thrive on social interaction. It is an essential part of having a happy life. So asking for help builds connections with others. When you insist on doing everything yourself, you tend to distance yourself from those who matter. And you miss out on the opportunity to strengthen your relationships.
Learn to accept rejection
What is the worst that can happen when you ask for help? Someone can tell you no. But that does not mean you should take it to heart. It usually only means they are busy or have prior commitments and the timing is wrong. Do not take someone’s no as a personal rejection. Instead treat it as a lesson for learning to better accept rejection.
How did you feel the last time someone helped you? Grateful? Happy? Of course, you did. Research shows that people who practice gratitude regularly are happier and become less anxious. And asking for help allows you to show gratitude and, in turn, feel happier.
We are here to help
Many people have trouble asking others for help. And it can often be because they think it is a sign of weakness. Or maybe do not want anyone to know they are struggling. So, if you are depressed or anxious, asking for help can be even more difficult. But it does not have to be this way. You can consciously do something about it.
With some simple changes to your life and practice, you can learn to ask others for help when you need it rather than feeling resentment because no one offers their help. And show gratitude when they come to your assistance. Where asking for help has become a problem and leaves you isolated from the world, or you have mental health issues, it is time to turn it around. Time to do something positive about it. Seek help. It is possible to change your mindset, so you feel more comfortable asking for help. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start asking for help and feel more connected to friends and family.
If you are struggling, consider reaching out to our professionals. When you are not coping, contact us to discover how we aim to help get your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you. We may help you deal with things quickly.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you may start taking back control of your life. We aim to help you cope with any mental health challenges or feel more comfortable reaching out to others. Our facilitators may alleviate the effects of depression and anxiety, so you have more self-esteem and start to feel optimistic and happy again.
Let me help alleviate the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you for more than a decade. My aim is to help you replace refusing to ask for help with being able to accept someone saying no without taking it personally. This can give you a new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years. Listen to what Kerryn has to say about my program after only a few sessions.