It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re better off by not asking for help. Many struggles are easier to keep to ourselves. Not to mention, we don’t want to feel like we’re burdening the people around us by asking for help when we need it.
The truth is, we’re doing ourselves a huge disservice by not asking for help. Whether you’re struggling with depression, an addiction, or you’re overwhelmed at work, you’re hurting yourself by not asking for help because:
- It can alienate others. They can probably tell something is wrong!
- You can lose trust and closeness with friends and family.
- You gamble your professional and personal reputation by not being open and honest.
- You can miss opportunities to learn and grow into a healthier, happier person.
But, exactly how do you ask for help? Here are a few ideas.
1. Consider Professional Support
Depending on the problem you’re facing, you may want to consider professional help. If you’re struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you may want to consider a rehab center. For example, Philadelphia Avenues Recovery Center offers a “90-day program that’s truly customized to the needs and unique circumstances of each individual.”
Getting professional support doesn’t have to be as serious as checking into a rehab facility. I might mean making an appointment with a therapist, or it could mean something as simple as hiring a personal assistant to help you free up time at work so you’re less stressed.
2. Ask Someone to Help with Simple Tasks
Professional support isn’t necessary for everyone. It can also seem like a big step to get professional help. It is often easier to start small.
One way to do that is to ask someone to help you with simple tasks. If you struggle to make appointments, ask a loved one if they would be willing to do it for you. A family member could bring by dinner one night, or a coworker could give you advice on a project, all without the need to go into detail about why you’re asking for help.
3. Reach out to People You Feel the Most Comfortable With
If you’re struggling with some heavy issues, talking with others can seem nearly impossible. You don’t want to appear weak in front of others, which is how discussing your feelings can feel. However, the truth is that asking for help is a sign of strength—not weakness. It means you know your limits and you know when to ask for help.
Practice feeling empowered with the people you trust the most. It might be a close friend or family member, but it could also mean truly opening up to a therapist for the first time. You’ll feel better for getting how you’re feeling off your chest, and you’ll get practice opening up to others.
4. Practice Answering, “How Are You?” Honestly
“How are you?” is a common greeting. Friends and family may ask when you go out to dinner, coworkers may ask you this question first thing in the morning, and customer service associates are likely to ask you this question on the phone and in person.
How do you answer? You’ve probably been answering the wrong way.
Don’t brush it off and answer “Fine.” Instead, answer this question honestly.
However, it is important to answer appropriately, depending on who you’re talking to. For example, tell a coworker that you had a rough start that morning, but avoid going into detail about a personal illness. If you’re talking to family or friends, you can be more open and honest. Answering honestly and getting an honest response in return is very liberating.
5. Say You Need Help, but Don’t Know How to Ask for It!
Starting a conversation about the help you need can feel insurmountable, even if you try the other tips on this list. If you’re still struggling to find the right words to get the help you need, consider opening the conversation by saying you don’t know what to say!
Asking for help is hard, and it’s okay to tell those around you that you’re finding it difficult. It’s like asking for help without asking for specific help. That opens the floor for the person you’re talking with to offer some suggestions.
Life is full of big and small challenges. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling at work or you’re experiencing a deep depression. We all need help every once in a while, and the tips on this list are here to help you when you need it most.