When you need help, it really makes sense to ask for it

Why is it sometimes so hard to ask for help?

Why, inside, are we sometimes hoping against hope that someone, somewhere will help us, yet we don’t actually do the sensible thing, which is to just ask?

Why don’t we ask for help when we desperately need it?


Perhaps it’s hard to admit that we can’t cope on our own, because it feels like being weak.

Or maybe it’s because we believe those we might ask already have enough on their plates without us adding to it.

Alternatively it could simply be that our thinking is muddled.

When things have got to the point where you feel you really can’t cope on your own, it’s likely that the negative thoughts will have taken a firm hold: I know that when this happens to me, I don’t always make the best decisions.

Fortunately there’s a pretty simple rule of thumb which might help you get a better sense of perspective if you’re in a fix like this.

Imagine that rather than being you, you were the person whose help you might seek.

And imagine that you only found out that your help had been wanted long after the need had passed, probably too late to be able to do any good.

How would that make you feel?

Almost certainly you’d be exasperated – a bit cross even – that you hadn’t been asked.

You’d probably suggest that you, not the other person, should have been the judge of whether you had too much going on yourself to be of use.

I’m pretty sure you’d be horrified to learn that someone had needed you but didn’t ask.

So now put yourself back in your own shoes.

If you need help, doesn’t it make sense to ask for it?

You know, I’m pretty sure it does.

7 thoughts on “When you need help, it really makes sense to ask for it

  1. This good advice, but, I’ve asked for help so many times and been turned down or someone has said they would help but then hasn’t, they may have their own good reasons but I never ask anyone for anything now and then I don’t get let down which could push me even more over the edge.

  2. This is good advice. I am my worst enemy as I am so bad at asking for help! My thinking gets muddled and I do not know how to go about things. It’s almost like being in the middle of a lake but too far from the bank to grasp the safety ring thrown out to me.

  3. um, its good to know how to ask for help I think and possibly who to ask. Sue what a shame you have been turned down. I wonder if those you have asked have been up to their eyeballs themselves and can’t see the wood for the trees. I ask for help sometimes and generally have been lucky enough to been helped. I also enjoy helping others as it makes me feel worthwhile and wanted.

    Is it better to just ask for help generally or to ask for help with a specific task, I generally do the later, so it’s not an overwhelming ask, its quite small and manageable, and then not offputting as a general outcry to help with life.

  4. After my daughter had twins ( also a 3 ear old ) – I knew she would have difficulty asking for help -as do I. Through our discussions we both realized that we are not being fair to those who care for us. People do want to help – they may not be sure how to help or may not be able to help at the time you need it but I think generally they are happy to help if they can. It can be frustrating to want to help and be unsure what’s needed.
    I have always been proud of being self reliant but there is no shame in needing help now wnd then . If someone is never there for you in yiur time of need – it might be time to look elsewhere for support. I always find yiur posts relevant and helpful – thanks!

  5. Asking for help isn’t easy, in my case practical help is very forthcoming but if I need to talk about emotional things it is very different. I find that the topic of conversation is changed very rapidly or I can talk for a while then “the shutters come down” and the conversation stops abruptly.
    I have come to the conclusion that the person I’m talking to doesn’t know what to say or how to handle the conversation. Very few people know about my depression, principally because I feel that people don’t know what to say and not helped by the fact that the first friend I told responded with “I didn’t think that you were that sort”.
    Now, I don’t ask for help unless I’m really down.

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