Do you struggle to ask for help?
I would class my aversion of asking for help as one of my biggest weaknesses. I don’t like to ask for nor accept help from others generally. If I ask for help it is because I am desperate and have reached the very end of whatever I have in me to do what I was doing. Thankfully, I have supportive friends and family who help when I finally ask.
Without going into too much detail, my physical health has not been great. My back has not healed and I am in a lot of pain on a daily basis. I saw the neurosurgeon today and we are trying a treatment option next month and things should improve. In the meantime, I broke down and cried last week, feeling it was too much. Virtually every day since I hurt my back in May I have required assistance and some days I cannot even walk. It has been confronting to be labelled by my Dr as disabled and to realise I cannot do everything myself.
On Friday, I finally reached out to my family and told them how bad it was and what help I needed. This week has been AMAZING! I am still in constant pain, but now I have help and I am not doing it alone.
How do you overcome the fear of asking for help?
I didn’t like asking for help mainly because I didn’t want to put people out or add to their load. I am also fiercely independent and do not like to be vulnerable. Asking for help means you have to be vulnerable.
1.) Realise people like to help
You asking for help gives them an opportunity to ‘do a good deed’ or feel good about themselves. For many it can be a distraction from their own issues. People feel good when they help, so don’t be afraid to ask.
2.) Realise no one can do everything on their own
Look at other areas of your life and how much we rely on other people to do different things. I know I have relied heavily on my family, but I also know at times I have made things harder for myself by not reaching out and asking for help. After my divorce I was adamant I would not rely on other people, especially with my kids. This is not a practical attitude to have, especially when my health declined.
You aren’t superhuman. Don’t run yourself ragged doing it all.
How do you ask for help?
“Hey, I need help”. Pretty simple right? Reach out, let people know what is going on then be specific.
When I asked my family, I outlined what help I would need, specifically a little assistance if possible taking my daughters to and from school some days and some meals, but I was open to other suggestions too and one offered to help clean which was fantastic.
Work out what you need help with, have some specific ideas and either call, email or speak face to face with people who have offered to help.
When I first did my back and even since I have had many friends offer help, but I never took them up on it. It was a huge struggle for me to ask my family, let alone anyone outside my immediate family. The relief once I did was astounding.
Stop rejecting offers. Stop saying “Thanks, I’ll be fine.” If someone offers to make you a meal, or clean or take the kids to school or whatever say “Yes, thank you!” And let them do it.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
Why do you struggle with asking for help and what are your tips to reach out?