Reaching out: How to ask for help (without feeling bad about it)
Have you ever innerly wanted to ask for help, just couldn’t get the question over your lips, because you were afraid of being rejected, owing someone something or just being seen as “incapable” or “weak” because of it? Maybe even a “burden”?… I have even though I know it is silly…
Fact is – most people from time to time hesitate when having to ask for help – and truth is that most people, who are asked to help, are more than happy and willing to do so! Many people even want to help if they can!
There is no success formula on how to become better, but a few things I have learnt the tough way are:
- Be sure to know what you want and for when you want it
When you decide to ask for help, be direct and specific about the outcome you wish for. This is concrete and gets the best results because people can base their actions on this and weigh the cost and benefit of helping you, as well as to know for sure if they can help, how to act and what you expect from them.
- Be clear on why it matters to you and communicate so
People are generally much more willing to help if they understand in which way the task is helping you. Again be concrete, specific and honest.
- Be sure who to ask
Make sure to consider who the best person to help you is before you ask. This limits the risk of them saying no – not because of you as a person, but because of time constraints, not their area of strength, etc.
- Consider the best timing for asking
When you decide to ask for help, consider the best timing. Is it when someone is in a rush having to leave? Tired or nervous? Or when sitting relaxed with a cup of tea?
True sometimes, we have no choice and need to ask under pressure – then be as brief, specific and clear as possible
- Train by asking for small favours
It is always easier to ask for a small favour than something “life changing” that really matters to you. So start small and work on asking for help step by step. It could be to ask for a second cup of tea – or to change a dish in a restaurant slightly in favour of your taste…
- Ask for help where it is hardest
When you have trained asking for small favours, consider this: Often we are most afraid of asking for help for tasks, where we could actually need the help the most
- Set yourself deadlines
And last but not least – set yourself deadlines for asking. Do not keep postponing it… Worst case, prepare yourself briefly, count to 5… and ask!
Now can I ask you for help?
LeneLife (www.lenelife.com) is my new venture – a new journey, where I am growing and learning every day…
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