In a recent article on dealing with negative events, I wrote that “The hardest thing for humans to do, it seems, is ask for help when it’s needed. So often we are taught from a young age that we have to be able to do things on our own.”
Personally, I have a really hard time asking for help, and I’m sure I’ve offended most of my friends more than once by telling them I’ll be fine on my own.
The truth is, none of us are really fine on our own. Having a support network of people you can reach out to is something we all need. No matter how much we like to think we can do it all on our own, we can’t. As someone who has lived the last several years pretty much alone, with no support network, I can tell you that there were times when I found myself in situations where I know it would have been resolved easily if I’d just had someone I could call.
There are a lot of reasons why we don’t take advantage of a support network when we have it. For me, I didn’t have one because I’d burned a lot of bridges over the years. Other reasons for not asking for help could be pride or feelings of shame and embarrassment that you got yourself in a jam in the first place. Neither one is a good reason for going it alone when there are people standing by waiting for you to ask for help.
It’s time that we learned that while it’s good to be able to fend for ourselves, it’s more than okay to ask for help when you truly need it. Sometimes it’s a matter of survival. In all cases, just knowing there’s someone out there who can help you out of a jam makes your life that little bit better.
Five Ways Asking For Help Can Improve Your Life
1. Asking for help is an effective way of solving problems.
Sometimes all you need is a quick fix such as milk money until payday, or a babysitter because yours called in sick. These are issues that are easily solved, and make yours and your family’s lives run more smoothly and stress-free when you are able to call someone and ask for help.
At other times, the help you need may be a little more complicated. Sometimes we need someone to listen, or to take a look at a problem from another perspective. How many times have you heard the phrase, “it just needs a fresh pair of eyes.” When you reach out and ask for that fresh pair of eyes, you can often find the solution to your problem by looking at it from another person’s point of view.
2. When you ask for help, you give others a chance to live their purpose.
What if, by not asking for help, you are denying another person a chance to live their purpose? When you reach out to friends and family during a crisis, you are allowing others to do what they do best by helping you.
If the situation were reversed, and there was someone you know you could help, wouldn’t you want to be the one they called on. You might feel a little slighted that they didn’t turn to you when they knew you could help.
3. Asking for help builds connections and relationships.
Think of a time when you either made a new connection, or strengthened an existing relationship just because you needed help. I have made some amazing friendships over the years, all because when I found myself in tough times and swallowed my pride enough to say I needed help, someone stepped forward and offered assistance.
In the case of an existing relationship, sometimes asking for help lets others see you in a whole new light. They gain understanding about you and what makes you unique, and you also learn more about them and their qualities. Asking for help makes relationships stronger, because each person knows they have someone to count on when the going gets tough.
4. You set a good example for others when you ask for help.
Think about this… If you hadn’t been taught not to ask for help when you were younger, wouldn’t it be easier to ask now?
By asking for help now you are setting a good example for your children that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. You’re also setting a good example for your friends and family as well, to show them that you will be there to return the favor when they need help.
5. When you ask for help, you get to show your true character.
Asking for help allows you to show others what you’re really made of. For example, if someone loans you money, when you give it back on payday you will show that you are trustworthy and someone who pays their debts.
When it comes right down to it, we all need a little help sometimes. And we’re certainly entitled to ask for it. By asking for help you acknowledge that you are a part of the human race, and as we all know, man was not created to live alone. After all, even the Beatles needed a little help from their friends. :)