Most people will tell you that asking someone for help isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. It can be embarrassing and humbling to go to someone and find assistance for something you feel like you should be able to do on your own.
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The truth is that there isn’t any shame in asking for help, but doing so can take some practice. In many cases, people feel that it’s like a gift when you allow them to help you. Whether you’re a single mother suffering from a chronic health condition or are just overwhelmed in general, when someone offers to help, it’s because they mean it.
Here’s how to get over your fear and go ahead and take them up on their offer to help you out. Try all of them to find out which ones work best for you, and then mix and match what’s successful, based on the situation at hand and what you need help with.
Listen To Your Body And Mind
Are you trying to complete a task and wondering if you know what you’re doing or if you’re even up to it? This gut instinct can tell you that you probably need some help. Anytime you are trying to tackle a task and are at a complete loss regarding where to start or how to proceed, you can assume it’s time to ask for help.
If you don’t feel comfortable going to a flesh and blood human, consider easing into things by going to the internet and asking an expert online. This will get you more comfortable with asking for help and seeing the rewards of getting over your fears and going for it.
Make A List With Names On It
If you are hurt, experiencing a death in the family, raising special needs kids or suffering from something like cancer, you are clearly going to need some help on more than one occasion. If that’s the case, write down all of the things you need help with.
This might be cooking meals, driving you or your kids to various places, picking up medications, shopping or babysitting. Once you have a complete list of what needs to be done, write down several names of people who could do the task for you.
Then give them a call and ask them to do the task, or pull out your list if someone asks what they can do for you. You’ll be surprised at how ready people are to help you out and that you have nothing to feel bad about.
Start With Something Small
If you’re not used to asking for help and it makes you uncomfortable, it is going to take some practice to get it done without feeling guilty. Start with something small that you might need help with. As mentioned above, you can ease into things by asking your question online, but you can also ask a friend to do something quick and easy for you, like pick up some milk for you so you don’t have to take your sick child to the store.
Once you realize that people are ready and willing to help you, it will be easier to approach someone about doing something bigger and more time consuming. Remember, practice makes perfect.
Phrase Things Properly
Instead of sounding demanding or ordering people around, you are much more likely to get the help you want and need if you go about asking in a different way. Some experts suggest saying something like, “I’m trying to figure this out and I’m hoping you can help.”
This allows you to talk about the problem you need help with in a way that allows the person to offer their help if they are able and to give you other suggestions about ways you can get assistance.
According to research, most people enjoy helping others and aren’t going to feel put out if you ask them to do something for you. Also, you might find that a simple conversation can help you solve a problem without anyone feeling put out or taken advantage of.
Assess What You Already Have
Sometimes you can solve a problem all on your own without ever having to ask for help. Perhaps you need to look at the situation differently and you’ll find the solution you need without having to go to anyone else.
Maybe you need something to wear to an interview, but your favorite suit is at the cleaners and your car is in the shop. Dig through your closet and you’re bound to find something else without having to ask someone to go get your cleaning for you.
Consider A Person’s Talents
When you do decide to ask someone for help, think about someone who is good at the task you need done or that loves doing it. Maybe you need your pants taken in or some patches sewn on your son’s Scout shirt. Ask a friend who likes to sew and chances are they’ll welcome the task because they enjoy it.
If you’re sick and need some meals prepared for your kids, ask your friend who loves to read cookbooks and prepare meals. This takes a little bit of the guilt off in asking for help and allows someone close to you to do something that they love doing anyway.
Help Someone Else
Sometimes, when you help someone, it comes back and benefits you at the same time. Maybe you have friends who need clothing altered or need some medical or legal advice. When you offer them the info, they can help you build your business or hobby by spreading the word about your skills and expertise.
This is great if you own a small business or are trying to make some money on the side. You might be surprised that offering to help someone else will come back around and they’ll be able to help you at the same time.
Asking for help can be a difficult thing to do, but many research studies have found that most people like to help, and they won’t feel used or taken advantage of when you reach out for assistance. Practice what you’re going to say, with your spouse or a trusted friend so that you aren’t nervous and your request comes out the way you want it to.
With time, asking for help will become second nature and you’ll always have a group of people ready to go that extra mile when you need it the most. Other things you can do include being very specific when you make your request and not getting upset or hurt when someone isn’t able to help you. With practice, you’ll be able to ask for help in a way that gets the results you want, and people will also know that when they need help, you are there to offer it when you are able.