Asking for help can be difficult. It can raise quite a few strong emotions. We might fear rejection, asking and hearing “no”. For some of us we don’t want to be a burden, for others they might not want to appear “weak”. The truth is that asking for help does require a certain amount of vulnerability, but the benefits far outweigh any perceived downside. Also, being vulnerable allows many positives into our lives including making new friends, learning new perspectives, and succeeding in therapy. So, let’s look at some of the benefits of asking for help.
- It protects you
When we notice we need help it is usually because we have taken on too much, or life has become too busy for whatever reason. Noticing this is actually our brain and body sending messages for self preservation, to keep us safe. By asking for help and accepting assistance it protects us from burn out, from being overwhelmed and ensures our mental wellness.
- It builds resilience and capacity to accept rejection.
Sometimes the fear of hearing no is coming from the fear of rejection, fear that the “no” is personal. However, most of the time people say no due to other commitments or time constraints. Allowing ourselves to hear no and practice not taking it personally builds resilience and increases our capacity to hear “no”, as this is a very real part of life. Asking for help often takes us out of our comfort zone and this allows for growth.
- It builds connection.
We are social beings and we require connection to be happy and experience well-being. Asking for help builds connections by allowing others to share their information and resources and this in turn shows people that you trust their ideas, feel competent in their skills, and appreciate their advice.
- It increases productivity
Asking for help allows for the possibility of fresh ideas and perhaps a new perspective. It is an opportunity to learn from someone more experienced, improving our skill set and making us more productive and more successful over all.
- It is a sign of high achievers
Asking for help can also be the sign of a high achiever. According to the Dunning-Kruger effect, a cognitive bias that suggests that people with low ability at a task overestimate their capability. Therefore, this would suggest that low performing individuals are less likely to seek advice as they believe their performance levels are already high.
- It makes you and others happy
When we ask for help we create an opportunity for others to share information, and this creates a positive impression. People who show a willingness to share information are perceived as more trusting, warm and friendly. This in turn makes people feel good about themselves. I’m sure you can recall a time when you have helped someone else and know that this feels good. And receiving help reduces stress and of course this makes the receiver also feel good!
- It creates a positive culture
Recognising you need help and asking for it indicates to yourself and others that it is okay to reach out when we need it. This normalises that we all at some time or another require help and support. Asking for help can facilitate better performance for ourselves and others improving connection and culture.