Most of us pride ourselves on being independent and self-sufficient, but none of us can go it alone all the time. Everyone needs to ask for help at some point or another. Why is it that asking for help has earned a stigma of weakness and dependability? For some, asking for help can go so far as being one of their worst fears! I strongly believe asking for help is just the opposite - a sign of empowerment. When we ask for help from others, not only does it provide an opportunity to work together and connect with someone else, but also it allows us to help each other. You may need someone's else's skill or talent or ability to help you right now, but you also have the potential to give back to them in the future by offering up your talents and skills as well.
As with almost all things in life, when you are uncomfortable doing something, practice makes perfect. Asking for help is no different! Below are some tips you can use when for asking for what you need:
1. Stop Worrying
Realize that everyone, even people without disabilities need help sometimes. Asking for help does not mean that you are being a burden or showing a sign of weakness. Most people like feeling important and needed by others. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if they asked you to help them out with something? Happy they acknowledged you, that they feel comfortable trusting you? Would it make you feel good? That's probably how they feel when you ask them for help.
2. Accept People's Offers
It is tempting to dismiss others' offers for help by insisting that we can "do it ourselves"; however, if you really could use a hand once in a while, take people up on their offers! Start by making a list of the tasks you really could use a hand with. Think about some of the people who have offered you general "if you need help with anything sometime, call me" offers and see if you can match them with some of those tasks. Odds are if people have offered a lending hand, they are thrilled that you are taking them up.
3. Ask Outright
Being direct when asking for help not only ensures your needs are met but also that the person you are requesting assistance from understands exactly how they can help fulfill your need. Instead of beating around the bush with "wishes" such as "I wish the office supplies were kept on a lower shelf," try phrasing your request with "Would you please store the office supplies in the lower cabinets rather than the high shelves? I use them often and it would really help out a lot so that I don't have to repeatedly ask someone to reach what I need."
4. Give Back
You never know when the opportunity will arise for you to lend a hand to that same someone who once helped you. We all have different talents and abilities that we can offer to one another. Think of asking for help as a give and take. Sometimes we receive and sometimes we can give.
5. Thank You Goes a Long Way
Remember, NO ONE can do everything for themselves. We all need to ask for help at some point or another. As long as you show appreciation to others, you will always have a circle of friends to lean on.