Why You Never Be Ashamed to Ask for Help When You Need It
How the simple act of asking can turn defeat to victory - when done the right way.
Everyone tries to avoid being turned down. And for a good reason: embarrassment is a bitter pill to swallow.
Such that, if you have tasted it, you try as much as you can, to avoid any situation that can lead to another dose.
That is why, rather than ask for help and being turned down, most people rather refuse to ask - even when they need it.
But people are not as mean as some sad memories make us believe. Most people are kind enough to lend a hand when you ask. Unfortunately, many of us do not know. Perhaps your experiences left a sad memory the last time you asked for help. And so conclude that asking for help is not worth it.
Oftentimes, such a generalization can be to our disadvantage. A separating wall between where we are now and where we can be.
Each time I am driving to the hospital or mid-week communion service, I see people who are just not comfortable asking for a lift. I could see it in their faces that they need a lift. "What if he refuses to stop?".
Sometimes I choose to ask a few if they were going my way, and 70% of the time it tuned out they were.
Commonest reasons most people don’t ask for help.
- They believe asking for help makes them a poor beggar.
On the contrary, most people in a position to help do not see it that way.
Instead, the act of asking shows that you are confident and expressive. That is not only a good virtue; it is also an advantage to you. Because in the end, no one can read your mind. Just like a saying goes,
“A closed mouth is a closed destiny.”
By not asking, you give everyone the impression that you have more than enough. That you are comfortable.
Asking is the only way someone else can know you need something.
So ask when you need help. Don’t keep silent. Ask.
Another reason people don’t ask for help is that…
- They don’t want to be embarrassed.
True. It is embarrassing when someone throws a no at you.
But that is not always the case. And sometimes, people don’t intend to embarrass you when they say no.
It could be that they actually can’t offer help and also, they do not know how to say no without getting you embarrassed.
Do not take it personally when someone tells you no.
Trust me, most people feel bad about it when they know you need their help, but for some reason, they could not give it.
How we ask for help also determines the outcome. It goes a long way to determine whether we are thrown a bitter no or we receive a pleasant yes.
If you can learn to ask better, you can increase your chances of getting a pleasant answer. Even if they don’t have it, they will refer you to someone that does.
3 Tips to a Better Asking
1. Ask Plainly and with Sincerity.
There is no point in trying to raise your shoulders. Your ego doesn’t have the solution you need. So drop it and ask without pride.
Asking for help and trying to raise ego, sends two pride-laden messages:
• that your ego is more important than the help you need, and
• that you can actually help yourself.
Nothing is more irritating and disgusting!
So in order not to send the wrong message, tell him what your challenges are and if he could HELP you out. Period.
2. Don't Demand the Help. Ask for it.
The truth is, nobody owes anyone any help. It is pointless demanding it as if it were your human rights.
Demanding for help will only turn the person off. And that is not too good — especially when you desperately need help.
For that reason, do not demand that they MUST help you. Rather ask. Politely.
"Hi Asha, if you can spare me a few minutes, can you please help me edit this draft later today?"
It shows you are humble and conscious of the situation.
3. Show that you have respect for their time.
Even when nobody is jumping taxi to resume office by 9 am to return by 5 pm, it doesn’t translate that they have nothing important doing with their time.
On the contrary, most people WORK from home and, sometimes, work extra hours to make ends meet.
So be kind to their 'plight' and show that you acknowledge they have a lot doing with their time.
Let them know you will send a draft in two days' time. It gives them the freedom to include it in their schedule and better prepared to offer the best they can.
But if for any reason you could not pre-inform them, apologize for breaking into their schedule. Ask if they can attend to you later in the day or choose a time that will be convenient for them.
The result is that it will boost their self-esteem and a rush of endorphin.
When the request is pleasing, it is more likely you will get a pleasant answer in return.
A single help could be the bridge between you and your promise land. The last code to dial to unlock the door to your amazing future. Don’t allow the fear of the unknown to deny you of it.
Ask for help when you need it. People are more willing to help than you realize.
Give it a try...
I am Joshua Idegbere and this is my column. Stories with actionable tips to help you make the most of your life, career and relationships. Welcome!