Many people find it hard to ask for help, but Millennials find it even harder as a group. Many Millennials don’t know how helpful it can be to ask for help because they think they should be able to do everything on their own and don’t want to look weak.
But asking for help can be good for a person’s job, relationships, and self-esteem. It can also make the world feel more connected and peaceful.
A small boy was having trouble picking up a big rock. Just then, his father came along. When he saw that the boy was failing, he asked, “Are you giving it all you’ve got?” “Yes, I am,” said the little boy quickly. The father said, “No, you’re not.” “I’m right here waiting, but you haven’t asked me to help you.” No One Knows
Many people think that asking for help shows that you are weak or needy, and that only people who lack skills or confidence would do it. You are not alone if you are one of these people.
A recent study shows that about 70% of people who needed help but didn’t ask for it did so in any given week.
So, what happened to us that we don’t think it’s okay to be humans? Maybe it’s how we interpret “need.” Most people think of “need” as being “needy.”
When you hear the word “needy,” you might think of a poor person or a family that lost their home. The way Millennials, who are changing the world and making their mark, think is not needy.
This makes me think about help itself. Maybe the trouble is with how we think about helping. Some of the dictionary’s meanings may be kinder than we think:
Help means to give or provide what is needed to complete a task or meet a need; to contribute strength or means; to help; to cooperate effectively with; to aid; to help; to make something easier or less difficult; to contribute to; to make possible; to be useful or profitable to; to help someone who is in need, sick, in pain, or in distress.
There’s nothing in that description that suggests someone is weak or can’t do something, so where did this fear of getting help come from? Do people think you aren’t trying if you need help?
In the quote above, it’s clear that the boy was doing his best, but sometimes the “best” of one person isn’t enough. We can do more if we work together.
So, how can it help you to ask for help?
1. When we ask for help, others can find us.
When we are too strong or too proud to ask for help, we separate ourselves from our friends and coworkers without meaning to. We put up an imaginary wall that can’t be broken.
When we show people our human side, we let them into our lives, which is the only way to really connect with them.
2. “No” is the answer to any question you don’t ask. We all think that no one wants to help us, so we don’t ask. But there are a lot of people who want to help but don’t know how.
If you don’t ask, your mentor or a family friend who knows you well might be happy to put you in touch with someone who could help with your job. However, if you don’t ask, the answer will be no.
It’s interesting that networking events and groups have become so popular, but it hasn’t gotten any easier to ask for help. What is an event for meeting people? People go there to ask other people to help them grow their businesses or put them in touch with powerful people.
3. It feels good to help other people.
Research shows that when we help other people, parts of our brains that are linked to happiness and reward are activated. So, if you let someone help you, it will make that person happy.
If that’s true, people who helped will probably do it again, which is good for everyone.
4. If we ask, we are more likely to get what we want.
Relationships don’t need stoicism. If we don’t ask our partners, wives, or friends for help and just sit around hoping they’ll figure out what we need, we’re very likely to be disappointed. Everyone wins if you ask for help and get what you want.
5. You’ll want to help others.
As we saw in number three, it feels good to help other people. So, when we see how good it makes other people feel to help, we will want to feel that way too. When we help other people, it makes our relationships better, makes us feel good, and brings people together.
This week, ask for help and pay attention to how it makes you and the person helping you feel. It won’t hurt, I promise!