Asking for Help

Is it easy for you to ask for help? I find it difficult. For many of us, the thought of asking someone for help — be it a colleague, friend, or stranger — is very uncomfortable. In our minds we think we will be imposing or we assume the person will say no. To some it is a sign of weakness.

When I do ask for help the answer is almost always yes. People want to help me. So why do I struggle with it?

Asking for help is a very personal thing. You can be emotionally attached to the answer. What you are asking for can be out of your comfort zone. The person you are asking for help may be someone that you admire. There are as many scenarios as there are human beings.

First, let’s define what help is.

Help is when someone makes it easier for you to do something by offering their services or resources. It is the action of assistance.


And the easiest way to get help is to ask for it.

But like so many things that would serve us (and others), our fear is what gets in the way. Fear of over-stepping a friendship. Fear of appearing too needy. Fear of imposing.  Fear of revealing our struggle and having people realize we don’t have it all together after all.

But here’s the thing:

When you don’t ask for help when you need it, you assume all of a burden that might easily and gladly be shared. But you also deprive those who want to be of service to you.

Everyone is worse off.

Like anything else, asking for help gets easier with practice. Here are 5 tips to asking for help:

  1. Know what you want. Ask someone to help you with a specific task or issue. Be clear about how they can help.
  2. Make sure you are asking the right person. You shouldn’t ask your mechanic to help you chose a new hair color.
  3. Always be open to a yes. It is guaranteed that if you don’t ask for help you won’t get it.
  4. Don’t take the answer personally. It’s not about you, it’s about the request. Maybe it just doesn’t fit in the schedule of the person you are asking.
  5. Identify more than one person that can help. If the first person you ask isn’t available try someone else.


People are more willing to help than you think!  Helping others is part of our natural cycle of giving and receiving. When we are willing to ask for help we are giving others the opportunity to be of service.

What are you willing to ask for help with?  Share yours in the comments below.

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