why don’t we ask for help when we need it?

19th November 2018

Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking and focusing on self-care for the last week, that I’ve noticed both for myself and others that we can often be reluctant to ask for help when we need it. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons and rationale for not asking for help;

  • I can’t ask them, they’ve already got enough on their plate
  • I SHOULD be able to handle this
  • THEY will think I can’t cope
  • It will be seen as a sign of WEAKNESS
  • I worry what people will think of me
  • It will feel like I’m a failure to ask for help.

Do you recognise any of those for yourself?

We don’t ask for help, because of some deep rooted fear of the consequences. Maybe in some past experience is was deemed ‘not OK’ to admit that we can’t do things unaided. Whatever the underlying reason, not feeling able to ask for help is something that can hinder our own self care.

Research in an article that I read recently (apologies I couldn’t find it to include as a reference) showed that actually asking for help builds our connection with others rather than having a negative impact. In other words, when others ask us for help, we see that as positive and we don’t think any less of the person who is asking. It’s a strange little twist isn’t it?

So, if you feel that you could be better at asking others for help, here’s a few pointers;

  • What is the fear/worry or anxiety you have about asking for help? It can be interesting to ponder this to see if you can uncover what is at the heart of your
  • Change your thinking. It’s not helpful to hang onto the idea that you have to do everything. You’re just putting extra pressure on yourself.
  • Spit it out. Be upfront and straightforward about asking for help. Avoid padding. E.g. ‘I’m feeling……… right now, could you help me?’
  • Be clear on what you need. Can you state clearly and specifically what you need? E.g ‘I need help with…….would you be able to………?’ or ‘I need you to….’

Without ‘teaching my granny how to suck eggs’ it can be helpful to have a few stock phrases to say when you ask for help!

Good luck….and if you need some more help with this you just have to ask!! 😉