Why should we ask for help? Have you ever heard a problem shared is a problem halved? Being able to ask for help strengthens our belief that we are not alone and that someone cares.
Some peoples’ core beliefs make asking for help difficult.
• Keep things to yourself
• People should be independent
• People will think less of me if I ask for help
How can someone ask for help if they deep down believe only weak people ask for help? If you don’t value yourself, you may think, “I don’t want to bother anyone.”
Another way to look at asking for help is to ask yourself this: How do I feel when someone turns to me for help? Do I feel valued? Is my opinion important? Asking for help is a way to make others feel valued as well as gaining support for ourselves.
Young men, in particular often have difficulty asking for help. Fathers have an important role to teach this skill by example. Being able to ask for help can be seen as strength. This sends out a powerful message. When faced with a problem, it’s ok to ask for help.
Some kinds of help are easier to ask for than others. To ask someone to help move a cabinet is often easier than wanting to talk because we are hurt, sad or angry.
Building your supports involves not only being open to ask for help, but also being willing to give it.
Up for discussion:
• When did I ask for help and found that help really useful?
• What type of help do I find easier to ask for?
• What type of help do I find more difficult to ask for? Why is that?
• How do I feel when someone asks me for help?
• What are the benefits of being able to ask for help?
Supportive relationships are a strength that helps build resilience. Who are the important people in your life you feel able to talk to or ask for help from?
Make a list of people who are supportive and in what way.
Write your name inside a circle below. Next, use the list you have just made to draw other circles representing each person in your life. As you draw each circle, write the name of the person in it. Draw circles of those you consider most supportive nearest to you and people less supportive further away from you. Add more lines if you need to.
Some questions to ask:
• Do you need to use the support you already have more?
• Do you need to stop seeking support from people that you find unhelpful?
• Do you need some more positive support?
• Where can you go to find more people who could help you?