Is it a sign of weakness if you need to ask for help when your car breaks down?
Is it a sign of weakness if you need to ask for help when you need to lift something heavy?
Is it a sign of weakness if you need to ask for help when there’s something you don’t know how to do (cook a soufflé, change a tap washer, thank someone in Japanese, de-flea a cat)?
I wouldn’t class any of these as signs of weakness.
Signs of sense, more like.
There are always going to be times when you need the support, strength and wisdom of others.
Times when it would be daft and possibly dangerous to fool yourself that you can struggle on alone.
There’s at least one area of life, however, where asking for help is much harder, and that’s when you need assistance with emotional issues.
For some reason, we may believe we’re ‘supposed’ to soldier on alone, carrying an unbearable burden.
I suspect that if you heard a friend was behaving in this manner, you’d regard them as rather foolish.
Why on earth didn’t they ask for help?
Yet when it comes to ourselves it can be all too easy to see things in an entirely different way.
Everyone gets tired or overwhelmed now and then.
We all struggle with how we feel, especially when things go wrong.
Your family and friends may be more than happy to help, but you’ll need to take that brave first step of admitting you’re having a hard time.
There are support groups, too.
And professional advisors, with whom your doctor may be able to connect you as a first port of call.
Be realistic when you ask for help.
The first person you approach may not have the answers or skills.
(I’d be zero help with your soufflé, for instance.)
But each individual to whom you open up can take you a step closer to someone who’ll help you get through things.
Asking for help isn’t always easy, but it is always sensible.