Asking For Help and Why I Struggle With It

It’s hard for me to ask for help.

I recently had to move out of my house into a new apartment and maybe it’s because I’m stubborn and pride myself on my independence but I told myself I would just do it alone. I was even moving in with a friend and she willingly employed some of our mutual friends to help her/us (she had more stuff than me) but I still kept my mouth shut about help.

I eventually ended up asking my cousin because I needed his truck for my bed, new dresser and couch that we were picking up but 1) he is my cousin/family and 2) I felt comfortable because it was absolutely necessary. If I had a truck I would probably attempt moving all that on my own.

The Giver

I have no problem giving. I’ve helped people move that I’ve just met, because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s part of who I am. I was raised that way to give back but I assume whether it’s a phone call in the middle of the night due to troubling times to or an evening of heavy moving…well, I’m hesitant and don’t want to be a bother. I’ve also noticed there are certain people I’m close to that I am able to ask for help with ease. I think it’s because we have a strong, foundational relationship. It’s established that we will help each other, for life.

Undoubtedly, my friends want to shake me. Verbally my two closest girlfriends from college recently laid the smack down (in the kindest and most necessary way) that there’s no time they would say “no,” to me. They never have in fact. They know I would do the same for them. It’s a two way, healthy friendship. I have their trust.

My friend continued, “I know you’re a giver, not a taker…but you have to take from us from time to time. We know you give back, even when you don’t think you’re doing it.”

Asking for help is a widespread fear

Turns out, I’m not the only one. M. Nora Klaver, author of “MayDay! Asking for Help in Times of Need” believes there are many reasons people globally are scared to ask for help. The primary reasons are: not wanting to seem weak, needy or incompetent.

A New York Times article, “Why is Asking For Help So Difficult,” suggests proper ways to ask for help: ask in advance, be clear in what you need, be concise and do so without making the person you ask feel guilty. [Okay, note to self, good pointers]

I think the most important thing to remember is that most people want to help and actually find gratification from it. Psychologist, Dr. Deb reinforces, “Asking for help creates an atmosphere of empowerment. It communicates to others that, while you may not have the answers, you are willing to find them and make things better.”

Just like saying, “I don’t know,” is okay to admit, asking for help is part of human nature. I’ve said it before: we’re human, not machines. Everyone needs help and I need to remember that where I’ve gotten today has been because of the good-will, kindness and help of others. I too, give back so I should realize it’s a full circle.

These past two weeks have helped me learn my lesson (slowly but surely, I’m still stubborn). Currently, I’m learning to ask more.

Do you or someone you know find it difficult to ask for help? Why do you think it’s hard to ask?

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