What’s one of the best feelings in the world?
It’s a true ying and yang! On one end you don’t want to ask for help but by not asking for help you are denying someone else’s chance to help you!
First the Ying:
Are you independent and like to do things yourself? Do you see asking for help as a sign of weakness? It’s scary to ask for help. Someone might tell you no. Someone might see you as not being able to do your job and criticize you for it. You’re afraid your ego might suffer.
Actually it’s a sign of strength if you can ask for help. We all need each other. No man is an island. We are all connected!
What started this post was a visit to my local T-Mobile store. I was trying to change my service without having to get the two year contract that came with a change. They didn’t say, “No it can’t be done.” The two clerks said to me, “How can we help you?” I explained exactly what I wanted and then we proceeded to work out a plan. I was expecting them NOT to help. I left amazed!
Like many people, I love to do everything myself. It seems easier. I often find myself saying, “No, that’s ok I can do it.” The end of the school year is a very busy time, especially for a teacher and for parents. Because of being so busy, I’m trying hard not to be stressed. So, it’s seemed like the perfect time to follow my own advice and ask for help. I asked for help from my fellow teachers. I asked for help from my fellow bloggers and have some great interviews to post during my last weeks of school. I asked for help from my son’s teachers. And they are bending over backwards to offer help.
When is the best time to ask for help? Before you’re feeling stressed and have been burning the candle at both ends. Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed and frustrated. Ask for help early on. Simple advice but hard to do sometimes.
And the research shows that people are delighted to help. Stanford Graduate School did a study with “new research [that] verifies the old adage, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ A series of studies revealed that people tend to grossly underestimate how likely others will agree to help.”
“Our research should encourage people to ask for help and not assume that others are disinclined to comply,” says Frank Flynn, associate professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “People are more willing to help than you think, and that can be important to know when you’re trying to get the resources you need to get a job done, when you’re trying to solicit funds, or what have you.” They found that the people in the study came back “to the lab afterward with big smiles, saying, ‘I can’t believe how nice people were!’ ”
How To Ask For Help:
• Ask for help in a positive way. If you are positive, people will want to support you more. Stop complaining about how busy you are.
• Explain in detail what the person can do to help you. That way you will not be disapointed later.
• Be Ok with a no. It doesn’t mean you’re not liked. Don’t take it personally.
• It’s also Ok to be afraid. Acknowledge your fear and move forward anyway.
• Remember that people are often delighted to help you. They take it as a huge compliment.
• Ask and Ye Shall Receive – The universe will heed your call. It’s called the Law of Attraction. You can manifest what you want out of life with a firm, I AM statement. “I AM getting all the help I need.”
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Now the Yang:
When the shoe is on the other foot, ask “How can I help you?”
As a teacher, I am constantly in touch with the parents of my students. Sometimes it’s about something wonderful that their child has done. Sometimes it’s a more difficult subject. Then, there are the times when a parent comes with an accusation. This can put me on the defensive. But then I remember what it’s like to be a parent and I simply say, “How can I help you?”
How To Help Others?
• First simply say, “How can I help you?” Just saying this may make a person feel better.
• Figure out the best way to help. Make sure you find out in detail how to help. Or maybe you need to just say, “Here give me this ______ and I’ll have it back to you in a little while.” OR “Tomorrow I’m bringing you dinner.”
• Use active listening to really listen to what the person who needs help is telling you.
• Only take on what you can do. Helping can backfire if you can’t get it done either.
“Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”
Lastly, Share The Joy and The Gratitude
• Once you’re been helped, say “Thank you” and share the positive results of their help.
• If you are the one doing the helping, check back in and see how easing someone’s burden actually helped them out.
Sharing the Burden Either Way
Change the way you’re thinking! Ask for help or help someone! Sometimes just having another person understand can help ease the burden. The load is lightened and you will get closer to people in your life in the process.
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