“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” — Dalai Lama
When you find yourself backed into a corner, that precarious feeling of overwhelm tends to take over. I don’t know about you, but when it happens in my life, I find it excruciatingly difficult to ask people to help me. I’m not sure why that is. And I’m not sure if other people suffer the same issues, but I’ve felt so suffocated by this immense feeling of despair, that I knew that others must have had their own bouts with it.
So I got to wondering… why’s it so difficult to ask for help? Why is it so unfathomable to utter two simple words, ‘Help Me,’ in your time of need? I’ve always felt extremely uncomfortable asking for help. Maybe it’s because I feel people will look down on me or they’ll think that all I want is a favor or some sense of reciprocity. The truth? I’d way rather help others when I have the means to than to ask for their help.
However, like everyone else, I’m only human. I’m not always in the position of being able to help others. I know that I’ve been in dire straits in the past where I’ve absolutely needed others to come to my assistance, but was so perilously frightened by the prospect of asking for it, that I entirely forwent it simply to “save face.” Maybe that’s just my personality. I have no idea, in fact. I just know that it’s hard for me to do it.
I suppose like any other article that you might discover on this site, the idea really was born from a personal battle. Back in 2011, when my business had failed and everything around me in my life had come crashing down, I was so desperate and in need of help, that although I vehemently required it, I couldn’t bear to ask for it. I would have rather cowered into a small hole and died a senseless defeat than to reach out and ask for someone to help me.
This character flaw has really held me back in life. It’s stopped me from achieving things in the past that I know I could have achieved with a little bit of aid. And, recently, I’ve made it a matter of principle to actually ask others around me for their opinions and their guidance. And that’s often the only pathway forward. You can’t expect to know or do everything on your own. And you know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Why You Should Ask For Help
One of our basic human needs is to connect with others. We actually crave and need that connection and we’ll seek it out in many formats. This isn’t just about relationships. This isn’t just about connecting with loved ones or family members. We actually sincerely crave connection with others outside of our inner circle.
And at our most basic and fundamental level, human beings are good. We want to contribute to others and add value. Sure, there are bad people as well. Don’t get me wrong. But you should never be afraid to ask for help because plenty of people around you are there and they’re willing to come to your proverbial rescue.
We often see these heart-warming stories during the holidays when some group of people come to the aid of a family that’s been struggling or a homeless person who’s on their last legs. But we don’t usually see it during the rest of the year. Why is it that these stories come around during the holidays and we don’t see it in say June or July or August?
The truth? During much of the year, we’re often too preoccupied by our lives to worry about others. We’re so enthralled in our own problems and issues, that we forget to think about the man, woman or child who might not have food on their plate or a roof over their head or struggling with a terminal illness or some other fateful life event.
There’s so much pain out there in the world that we often have to stop and think of others in order to put our own pain into perspective. There’s a saying that goes if the whole world were to throw their problems into a big pile, you’d immediately take back your own. Now, I don’t know you and I don’t know your problems, so I’m not passing any judgments here.
What I am saying is that, no matter what’s going on in your life, there are two things that you should do. The first is to put your problems into perspective. Maybe it’s painful for you right now, but try to think about what other people are going through. But, also, I’m saying that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask people around you for help. You might be surprised at the response.
Now, there are a lot of reasons why you should utter two simple words, ‘Help Me,” but I’m going to run through 5 very powerful reasons about why you should never be afraid to ask the people around you for a little bit of assistance. People are good when it comes down to it and you often have to set your ego aside for a moment.
#1 — It Breaks Down Walls
Asking for help is transformative. It breaks down walls. There’s something so humbling about it and so basal in fact that it draws people into your circle. Have you ever seen a post on social media where someone was asking for help? When it’s authentic and the story really touches your heart, something changes within you. You don’t look at that person with disdain. You search for ways that you can actually come to their rescue.
There are barriers and walls, not just externally in the interpersonal relationships that each one of us has, but also intrapersonal as well, existing solely within our minds. Those intrapersonal walls are some of the hardest to crumble. They’re the invisible walls erected within our minds to help protect that fragile inner-self. And I mean fragile. We are easily bruised and hurt when we feel that others are trampling on our feelings.
It’s easy to see why it’s difficult to ask for help. Those walls don’t come down easily. Not externally, and especially not internally. But by uttering those two simple words, ‘Help Me’ magical things begin to occur. You can’t believe what the universe sends your way when you do this. It’s truly been remarkable for me to witness this firsthand. And relationships that I value dearly today were formed when I started asking for others to help.
#2 — It Solicits Compassion
We are all (well almost all) compassionate human beings. And asking for help solicits compassion from others. It shows vulnerability, the kind that people don’t like to take advantage of, but rather like to come to the aid of. There are compassionate people all across this planet who are constantly looking for ways that they can help others. Don’t be afraid to tell others the true story of what’s going on in your life.
Understand that it’s okay to feel less than perfect at times. The truth is that no one is perfect. Many of us have facades that we create for hiding the pain and the hurt that’s deep inside. When you get to know someone, oftentimes, when they do reveal their true pain and suffering to you, it would have been hard to guess from the outside looking in. We tend to have compassion for others that show their vulnerability because it’s authentic.
Every time that people harbor authenticity, others are drawn to them. Don’t be afraid to reveal that vulnerable side of yours because it’s real and it’s authentic and people will be drawn to it. No matter who ego-deflating it might feel at the time, asking for help is nothing of the sorts. Especially if you’re truly struggling with something in life, get out there and be vocal about it.
#3 — It Creates Connection
Asking for help creates a connection. It forms a bond. Between yourself and the person that you’ve reached. Whether they come to your aid or not is irrelevant. It still forms a deep connection. Most often, we don’t see people being authentic or asking for our assistance. We see people portraying a lifestyle that they want others to know about them. This isn’t authentic or genuine, especially when it’s false.
No one likes that. But they can connect with people who are authentic. They will come to the assistance of those who reveal the story of the pain and the hurt that’s living inside their minds. They will empathize, and not just sympathize, because most people have been there in the past. Most people have endured great physical, financial, emotional or mental pain before. It isn’t something unique to you. Everyone has experienced it in one form or another.
Some of the deepest relationships that you form in your life can be the result of reaching out by revealing your true situation rather than trying to mask or hide it. No one likes that. If you’re truly succeeding at a high level, then fine. Don’t be afraid to hide it. But if that’s not the truth and it’s just a so-called act, it will eventually come to light. Just be real and authentic. That’s the point if you want to build lasting relationships.
#4 — It Compels Contribution
When you ask for help, it compels contribution from others. It’s not just about having compassion. People are genuinely driven towards wanting to assist. Think about when some natural disaster happens, and people lose all of their life’s belongings. And so many people come to their aid. Do you think that’s just by random chance? No. People are compelled to contribute to those that are suffering and in pain.
So, what would make people want to contribute to people that they don’t know, and not contribute to people that they do know? They would be far more compelled to help people they know. That’s clear. While it’s hard to ask for that help in the first place, know that if you do ask for it, you will receive it. If you truly are struggling, consider setting up a GoFundMe page and get honest about what’s happening in your life.
Human beings have an innate desire to contribute. It’s part of our DNA. No matter what anyone says, we are all driven towards it. We all want to contribute something to this world in some way. Some of us want to make a small contribution, while others want to make large ones. The size of the contribution doesn’t matter. The point is that you’ll be surprised at what others will do to contribute to you in your times of need.
#5 — It Invites Solace
There’s massive internal wrangling that’s happening in our minds at any given moment. Did you know that we have upwards of 60,000 thoughts in a given day? Granted, many of those thoughts are repeated. But many of them are negative. It eats away at our minds when we’re living so steeped in negative thinking. It creates a scarcity mindset and framework, making us attract bad things into our lives.
As much as you might think that your mindset doesn’t attract things into your life, it does. Think, and you shall become, so the saying goes. But when you ask for help, it gives you peace of mind. It provides solace in those dark hours. Yes, it’s a little bit liberating as well. You shouldn’t fear it. You should embrace it. Beckon it. Invite others in and tell them your story and reveal that you need their help. It’s okay. No one is going to criticize you for it. And if they do, shame on them, not you.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help. You should never fear doing it. Only fear not doing it, especially when you need it. Because, you’ll be surprised at the wonderful things that can happen in your life when you do ask for help. So don’t be afraid of doing it. Do it often. Let others in. Reveal the true story. Relay the struggles. No matter if it’s mental, financial, emotional, spiritual, relationship, or anything else, ask for help.