I’m usually the kind of person who doesn’t need a whole bunch of help with things. Or at least that’s how I see myself. I’m a self-starter and a self-motivator who can learn and do anything. Or so I like to think…

The truth is that there are many times when I need help and because I’m the way I am I often don’t know when, or how, to ask. I bet there are all kinds of people out there who feel the same way. We’ve all been in over our heads at one time or another and it’s no big deal to call out for a little help now and again. In fact, by asking for help when it’s needed, we can make our lives easier and help out those around us.

This last weekend I did a bit of research and found quite a bit (ok a ton) of information on the topic. Turns out that asking for help is harder than I thought!

h3. Asking For Help, A Few Tips

* One of the hardest parts is knowing when you need help. If you’re like me you’ll tend to think you can do it all. This often leads to frustration or worse. I don’t know how many times I’ve broken something or pushed a situation beyond easy repair by trying to go it alone. When you start to get stuck, think about your problem and if you can use help–ask.
* Don’t worry about being judged. It’s pretty common to feel silly or embarrassed when you can’t figure something out, just remember it happens to everyone and there are times when the smart thing to do is to get help.
* Ask someone you trust if it makes it easier.
* If you’re unsure, think about the consequences of not asking for help.
* It’s sounds simple but before asking, make sure you know what you need help with and what kind of help you need. This’ll make it easier for everyone involved. Provide as much detail as you can.
* Don’t wait until it’s too late. Ask for help as soon as you think you might need it.

Going to others for help is something we’re supposed to learn early on. Maybe we do, but all to often as we get older and more self-reliant (which is obviously a good thing) we tend to forget that everyone could use a little help now and again.

9 Comments on How To Ask For Help

  1. Yannick L. says:

    I bet there are all kinds of people out there who feel the same way.

    Yup, I definitely fall in that category. Thanks for the tips. They will definitely come in handy as I have had this problem even more so recently since I have had to use ASP and databases at my job. At times I always think I can figure it out on my own, only for days later to still not get anywhere, So a few weeks ago I started asking for help. It’s been okay so far even though yes at times I feel silly and embarrased to be asking.

    I think its good to note that sometimes its good to ask for help as it can lead to the bouncing of ideas between you and the person helping and this can lead to even better results for both of you.

  2. Mike A. says:

    I used to be that way right after I graduated from college, but after working for five years or so, I’ve come to realize that there are many things I don’t know. I still do a bit of due dilligence prior to asking, but if I can’t find something, there’s sure to be someone around that has already run into the issue I’m facing. Of course, it does help that I’m surrounded many bright and talented people that are willing to help each other out.

  3. Perfect fucking advice. Taken.

  4. William says:

    Good advice…. I tend to work the things out myself but actually, time is limited, asking for help indeed save lots of valuable time but get the job done!

  5. Phil says:

    Curious what people think about the following:

    My wife does not like to ask others for help (such as even asking a neighbor to help move somethin heavy). She says that she doesn’t want to “owe” anybody else. It just drives me nuts, because my point of view is, “So what? I like helping people.”

    What do people think? What can I do to persuade her it’s ok to ask for help?

  6. Sian says:

    Very interesting. As your article states “One of the hardest parts is knowing when you need help.”, finding the balance between needing assistance and starting down the route of relying on others and becoming lazy.

    I’m very lazy when it comes to my PC I know that either my next door neighbour or Russ will fix it for me. I’m the total opposite when it comes to working with web pages or CSS. I’ll sit for hours trying to work something out and instead of asking, and I expect getting an answer I’ll just leave things part finished. I’ve got to work on that.

  7. David says:

    May I add two of my thoughts: (one cent each)

    1. Know how to ask. The proven set of words are: “I need your help.” Other alternatives such as “Could you help me please?” “I wonder if you could help.” etc are NOT as powerful. “I need your help” does more than just ask for help … it elevates the other person.

    2. Mark Twain said “When you need a friend, it’s too late to make one.” And making friends means helping others. The more we help, the more help we will get in the long run.


  8. When to Say When

    I admit it…being an intrinsicly-motivated and highly self-reliant type, I’ve always had a little problem with asking for help.

  9. babydoll says:

    can you help
    im moving to a highschool and i will have no friends at all

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