Have you’ve ever shied from asking for help because of fear? You are not alone! It’s a sad irony that it’s during the times we most need to ask for help that most people are reticent in doing so.
I am one of those people who never had it in their nature to ask for help. Choosing to rather die of hunger than ask for bread from a neighbor. I was afraid of imposing myself and being a burden to others. Then I realized that I was approaching life all from the wrong angle and I had to change.
At the beginning of the year, I was having challenges with my phone. I then decided as I was writing this post that I would go to my high school mates on our WhatsApp group to ask for help. One person came forward and was willing to help and that single person’s gesture moved me.
Moral of my story
I shared my story because I know so many people are reticent about asking for help. I realized that often times, we do not get help not because there is nobody out there to assist but because we never ask for help. That was just one person in a group of 60 or so people. How many people do you think would be willing to help you in a world with 7.5 billion people?
When you don’t ask for help when you need it, you assume all the burden that might easily be shared by others. As humans, we are not self-sufficient beings, no matter how independent we think we are. Recognizing one’s limitations means always remembering that it is not possible for you to be completely self-sufficient without the support of nature and others. The natural world is designed for cooperation. All humans must depend on the others around them for survival.
What it means to ask and get help
We often don’t ask for help especially when we truly need it. We think we have to be tough and take care of ourselves. I know it, asking for help feels uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t. So, I have listed below what it means to ask for help.
- Asking for help from others is not a burden but a gift. It gives others an opportunity to be of service in a way that is truly helpful and meaningful to us.
- Asking for help is not asking for a hand-out. It’s reaching out to others and giving them a chance to reach out to you.
- When you ask somebody for help, you aren’t weighing them down, rather you are pulling them up. Our lives are richer and not poorer when we share our gifts with others.
- When one reaches out to someone else, they are giving a vote of confidence to that person. It means, “I trust you enough to believe you can help me.” Asking for help, therefore, strengthens bonds.
- When help is given, it means that no one is above anyone else. And when help is received, it means that no one is below anyone else. The recognition that there are circumstances in life in which one needs another person makes us more human, and closer to those around us.
- Asking for help doesn’t have anything to do with weakness, failure, dependence, or inferiority. It has more to do with the recognition of one’s own limitations, modesty, and bravery.
- Asking for help is wisdom. It means recognizing the fact that the world is full of natural resources that increase one’s possibilities and abilities and these resources are tools that can aid u in reaching goals and overcoming obstacles.
Why then do people often shy away from asking for help?
- We live in a society that prides itself on self-sufficiency. The idea of asking for help can often be daunting. It may seem like admitting that you can’t handle everything that comes your way? The ability, though, to ask for help can sometimes be lifesaving.
- Seriously, so many of us don’t ask for help because we are afraid, or embarrassed, or don’t want to burden anyone. We don’t want to feel vulnerable or put it out there that life is more than we can handle alone at the moment. We worry about being seen as weak or incapable or some such silliness.
- Sometimes, reaching out is difficult and dreaded because of previous experiences. People may have gone through bad experiences in their lives in which they have needed help and were humiliated or unable to get it.
- Some people also have the mistaken belief that asking for help means adopting a debt and the favor must be returned. Becoming conscious of the fact that society creates these influences and imposes these ideas can help prepare us to take the step of bravery that is necessary. It also means breaking away from one’s own fears and leaving behind that distrust and the isolation it created.
- The problem is that we’ve become so caught up in maintaining appearances for others, so guilty that we need help when we already have so much. All we need to do is learn to admit we need the help and start to ask for what we need.
- So many people are very reticent about asking for help because of fear. Fear of being burdensome, appearing too needy, or being rejected.
I dare you to ask for help
Why is it so difficult to ask for help? Is it because we are ashamed? Ashamed that people will judge us. Yes, 90% of the people may judge us and will actually judge us but why not focus on the 10% that will not judge us but are willing to help us? Asking for help is not a humiliating or lowering act nor does it imply weakness. How many times have we allowed ourselves to sink or drown without calling for help because we often fear that nobody cares or fear of revealing our struggles?
Do not allow this to stop you from asking for help. There are countless good people in the world ready to help when there is a need. People who offer help and want nothing in return. Don’t forget about them. Give them the opportunity to show and share this quality. With this attitude, feelings of love, generosity, compassion, and mutual care are created.
We all hit stormy seas sometimes, don’t suffer in silence. “Real strength is the ability to look somebody in the eye and say, ‘Please help me.’ It takes courage!
When I decided to offer some free counseling sessions, I realized how happy I would be at the end of the day after knowing that I had helped someone deal with their mental health. This has made me realize that actually there are people out there who will do anything to try and help others, all you need is to shout for help.
So what should we do?
When you feel that your ship is going down, ask for a lifeline, you will be surprised at how many people are willing to offer you that but if you keep quiet people will think that either you are okay or you have a plan to save yourself in place.
Humanity is about being there for one another. Most people really do want to help others. The problem isn’t a lack of desire or will to help, the problem is we don’t always know how we can really help. I always ask my friends, “What do you need right now? What can I do to help?” But most people don’t ask those questions because they worry about prying or overstepping. Or they worry about implying weakness or incapability or some such silliness.
There are some blessed souls among us who naturally excel at the whole helping thing. You know, the ones who always seem to sense when someone is struggling and know just the right thing to do or say. Then there are the rest of us, who want to be helpful but don’t know where to start. For example, how many would automatically think to make a meal for a friend going through a difficult time?
The truth is that we all have gifts to share; time, talent, connections, insights, experience, skills, resources, hospitality. And most people I know love to share them!
Just a thought for you
If you need help, would you ask for it? Do You Have the Courage to Ask for Help? I remember John Farhan’s song, “Help me if you can I’m feeling down.” It tells a story of how we often think we don’t need help when we are young but realize as we get older that we desperately need others’ help.
I would love to hear from you regarding your experiences with asking for help so please, leave a comment for me below, and if you found this useful, kindly share it with others.