Getting Better at Asking for Help
...because most of us are no good at asking for help
As children, we probably had no qualms in asking adults when we needed assistance; ‘Please can you make me a drink?’ ‘Can you reach my teddy from the top shelf?’ ‘I need a cuddle’... and we learnt that the adults around us willingly, and usually happily, did these things.
Somewhere between childhood and becoming an adult, we seem to become self-conscious about asking for help, or worse, feel like it’s some kind of failing to reach out to someone else.
You don’t want to be a burden, or feel like you’re getting life wrong, or be seen not to be coping. You might also worry about someone saying no, or backing off as our friend because it’s too much for them.
The point of this is to say we need to ditch the ‘stiff upper lip,’ the ‘I’m fine’ and the pretense. You don’t need to be brave and you don’t need to grieve alone.
Even the seemingly strongest people need to ask for help at some point, and there’s no shame in it. If we present ourselves as ‘fine,’ then we can’t expect people to be telepathic and realise we’re not alright.
When you’re dealing with a loss in your life, getting out of bed can be a big deal. Mustering the energy to cook anything vaguely nutritious can feel epic, especially when you’ve got a family to feed as well.
Perhaps you feel that too much time has passed and it’s easier to say that ‘everything’s ok’ rather than go into the details of what you’re really going through.
In the immediate aftermath of your loss, you might have found your friends, family, neighbours, or colleagues asking if there’s anything they can do, just shout. They meant it.
People can feel pretty useless when someone they like or love goes through a loss. They want to help but they don’t know how.
Taking someone up on their offer of doing something for you is not admitting defeat. Take this as our permission to say to yourself that you can’t do it all and that it’s ok to ask others to help.
Think about the one thing you’d like help with. Is it someone to share picking the kids up from school? Is it someone to cook you a meal? Is it some company on a Sunday? Has your kitchen become overwhelmingly messy? Do you need to sort through your loved one’s belongings?
Then think about the best person for the job and ASK!
If your feelings have become overwhelming and you feel unable to cope with your feelings, it’s ok to ask us for help, too. We’re here to help you find professional support.