Hit a Rough Patch? 9 Ways to Ask for Help0

Ask for help instead of groping around trying to figure things out on your own. It saves your time. You will also be able to eliminate worry and reduce stress.

ask for help

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In 1998, due to the Asian Financial Crisis, the company I worked for downsized. I lost my job.

“No problem.” I said. “With my skills and experiences, I can find another.”

So I thought.

A close friend suggested I asked my former colleagues and clients for a job. They knew my credentials. It wouldn’t be a problem.

I didn’t heed the advice. I believed I could do it alone.

By the end of that year, I was still unemployed.

Then panic set in.

I was broke. The finance company repossessed my car. I had to bunk at a friend’s place because I no longer could afford to pay rent.

I pushed my pride aside. I called another friend telling her that I needed a job badly.

Three days later, she called back. She told me that there is a vacancy at her friend’s office and I fit the job requirements.

I got the job. And I learned my lessons.

Randy Pausch quote on asking

Asking for helps is one of the ways to get what you want out of the many strategies available.

Instead of groping around trying to figure things out on your own, ask. It saves time and speeds up things. You will be able to eliminate or reduce stress. Why get so worked up in trying to solve your problem all by yourself when you could ask for help?

But why is it so difficult to ask for help?

Take some time for self-reflection. Find out what makes you hesitate to ask for help.

These are some probable reasons:

  • You fear rejection. The word no scares you.
  • You believe you are self-sufficient. You don’t need outside help because you think you can meet your own needs.
  • You don’t want to feel obliged or indebted.
  • Believing that you don’t deserve help.
  • You do not want to bother or burden others.
  • Your pride gets in the way. You believe that it is a sign of weakness; that you are incapable of handling your own problems.

What kind of help can you ask for?

1. Ask for advice if you don’t know how to do something. Ask for a second or third opinion before you make a major decision.

2. Ask for feedback. Feedback helps you improve and make corrections. You can then decide to continue what you are doing or to change your plan of action.

3. Ask for favors such as requesting a friend to help you move out or asking your sister to babysit while you run an errand.

4. Ask for support to help you get through a difficult time.

5. Ask to be given a second chance after you have fumbled.

6. Request your spouse or partner to communicate with you more often.

7. Ask someone to stop or start doing something to improve your relationship.

These are only some examples of things you can request for help.


Here are 9 Ways to Ask for Help

1. Be Specific

People cannot read your mind. When you ask for something, don’t beat around the bush. Make your request clear.

Make it easy for people to respond. Say what you want, why you need it and when you hope to get it. Nothing more and nothing less.

2. Be Prepared

You may not get what you asked for. But the chance of getting what you want is higher if you prepare yourself before you make your request.

So before you ask, know exactly what it is that you can work out by yourself and which area you need help on.

3. Be Willing to Accept Rejection

Be mentally prepared to hear a no. There are various reasons why someone turns you down. Some people let you know. Some don’t.

Don’t get carried away when you get a rejection. Don’t criticize the person who rejected you.

4. Be Confident

Timidity will block you from asking for anything. Be assertive but not aggressive.

Ask nicely but don’t demand. Try to avoid thinking that you deserve or are entitled to get what you asked for.

5. Ask the Right Person

Ronald Reagan Quote

Who is the right person? It depends on what you are asking. But the thing to keep in mind is to ask someone who has the answer, resource or ability to meet your request.

What if you don’t know how to discern who the right person is? Then just ask anyone you know.

Remember not to underestimate people. They may not be able to help you but they can point you to someone who would be able to do so.

Some people are willing to help because they want to meet their needs, which is, to serve and be helpful.

6. Persist

Failed once? Try again. Try another method or try asking someone else.

When you get a no, do a little bit of evaluation.

Was your request reasonable? Did you ask the right person? What did you say or do that might have caused a refusal. Did you sound too needy?

7. Be a Giver

It is a social norm for people to give back what they have received in some form. So develop the habit of giving and serving others. People will help you willingly when they acknowledge you as someone who likes to help others.

8. Be Prepared to Reciprocate

Avoid the “something for nothing” attitude. Be prepared to give back in some form either to the person whom you are asking or someone else.

9. Practice Asking

Ask for small things as often as you can. It helps you fight shyness, and the feeling of shame or guilt. You will also get used to hearing the word no.


What about you? What’s stopping you from asking?

Need a raise? Need help with household chores? Don’t know how to solve a pressing problem?

Don’t overthink. Just ask.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You’ll never know the answer until you ask.