5 Reasons to Give Yourself Permission to Ask For HelpApr 04, 2020
Sometimes we struggle to ask for help. You may be the person everyone runs to for help, or maybe you feel like you would be a burden to someone. Let’s talk about the ways that make it ok for us to seek help from others.
Here are a few of the reasons asking is helpful for us:
- When we ask, we develop humility. To request help or support from another destroys any illusions of self-sufficiency we might harbor. Asking helps us remember that we are incomplete, that we are needy, and that we are to seek outside of ourselves to take in what we need. This creates the position of humility in us, which opens us up not only to others and our Creator.
- When we ask, we are owning our needs. Asking for love, comfort, or understanding is a transaction between two people. You are saying to the other: “I have a need. It’s not your problem. It’s not your responsibility. You don’t have to respond. But I’d like something from you.” This frees the other person to connect to you freely, and without obligation. When we own that our needs are our responsibility, we allow others to love us because they truly have something to offer. In other words, asking is a far cry from demanding. When we demand love, we destroy it.
- When we ask, we are taking initiative. Asking is the ultimate “passivity-buster.” It helps us out of the trap of wishing and hoping someone will somehow sense our pain intuitively and come to our rescue. It also means that asking keeps us much more in control of our lives. We aren’t dependent on the clairvoyance of our friends (what a relief to them!).
- When we ask, we are developing a grateful character. Those who have been helped will help others. Those who have been loved and forgiven little, love little.
- Asking increases the odds that we’ll get something. Though it sounds too obvious to say, it’s important. How many times have you neglected reaching out to someone who is now absent from your life? Askers really do tend to get more out of their relationships.
What do I ask for? This is important, because many of us confuse function with relationship here. In other words, we’re not talking about borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor or getting a ride to the airport. Asking for functional reasons is fine, but it will not help you develop relationships. In fact, it’s easy to avoid relationships by asking only for functional things.
Learn to ask your safe people for the very things you found them for: a relational connection. Learn how to ask for your emotional tummy to be filled just like you’d ask for breakfast for your physical body.
Need a safe place to relate to others about this topic? Join one of Dr. Henry Cloud's Boundaries Peer Groups.
Boundaries in Marriage
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Boundaries in Dating
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Boundaries After Divorce
Boundaries with Narcissists