Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Asking for help

Why is asking for help so difficult? We need assistance but we just don't reach out. Instead we choose to suffer alone. With individualism running amok, one in four people say they have absolutely no one to confide in. How sad! Our ingrained independence is creating a culture of need and unprecedented isolation. Too many like to show independence in front of the boss or whoever works for them instead.

It doesn't have to be this way. Mastering the "Mayday" is a skill you can learn. Not only will it ease and enhance your life, it can deepen connections, reduce stress, restore energy and remind you that despite your grim determination to endure hardships, you are not alone. Here are simple ways you can seek help.

Ask early and often
Building your mayday muscles requires regular practice. With exercise you can become more comfortable in your requests and when you do ask for help, make sure you articulate. Clarify what you're looking for. From terms to time lines but be careful not to micromanage and don't wait till the last minute either. If you expect that you need help making the bills, don't wait until the end of the month to get assistance.

Faith grounds us heart and soul. Believe that you are not alone and that your needs will be met and you will be able to make your request for help. Your voice won't shake(or at least it will quiver less) and your request will be clear and strong. Rather than being filled with worry, you'll know that your needs will be met. You have the power to manifest.

Remain grateful. Gratitude helps put your need into perspective. When you recognize all the blessings of your life, your need will be in proportion to those blessings. Gratitude will also help you to receive either the "yes" or the "no" response. Also, use the "three thanks" rule. Don't flub the thanks. Express your gratitude three times. When the agreement is struck, when the need has been met and the next time you see your helpmate.

Cast a wide net
Expand your list of helpmates. Look beyond the obvious. Family and friends and add some new names to the list. For instance if you need money to fund a project, keep in mind that there are organizations that are looking for you. When you do gather up the courage to ask for help, be attentive to the subtle cues behind a general "yes" or "no" response. People sometimes like to have more information before parting with their money. Is your potential helpmate willing or reluctant? Be honest with them. Remember, rejection is a part of life.

Intimate partner.
Sometimes we tend to take our partners for granted. We expect them to just drop everything and help us out. Think for a second. Would you, if asked? If the partner is just as busy, stretched out, pressured, over worked or whatever, it makes no sense to start a blow out argument in the relationship with your intimate partner and end up on the losing side. Seeking for help here may receive a "no" response. If it concerns both of you, surely the partner will do whatever is necessary to assist. However, sometimes it's because they don't want to get involved or because they're unable to help. Don't blame but seek alternative help. It's not worth damaging the relationship for something only YOU need help in.

Bar advice. We try to be independent but even the best and brightest people were never able to do it all on their own.

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