Happiness Is… Asking for Help

I’m really bad at asking for help.

Several years ago, my sister and I were wandering around Target—I don’t remember what we were looking for, but we couldn’t find it. At some point, a store employee walked by and asked if they could help us find anything. We both immediately responded, “No, we’re fine,” before realizing that yes, actually, we could use some help.

Yes, actually

I feel so used to saying, “Thank you, but I can do this on my own,” that it’s become a knee-jerk reaction even when I would love a helping hand.

That same response sometimes caused problems at my last 9-to-5 job. The team had a rule of thumb we were supposed to follow: if you’ve spent 15 minutes trying to figure something out on your own, it’s time to ask someone for help. So many of us felt determined to make it work by ourselves, embarrassed to need assistance, or just too stubborn to call for reinforcements.

I notice that when I’m struggling with the terrors of formatting in Microsoft Word or trying to find a display setting that I just know is buried somewhere in my WordPress dashboard. It’s sometimes alarming how much time I waste when the answer is a quick web search or text to a friend away.

Phone a friend

But I’m taking a cue from how good it feels when I do ask for help and get to move on from a minor problem without (metaphorically) pulling my hair out. And also from the joy I feel when I get to help someone else when I’m the one they reach out to.

Last weekend an old friend called just to chat about the apostrophe in “let’s” vs. “lets” and I was delighted to be his phone-a-friend resource.

That’s why I’ve started creating a few resources for just those kinds of situations—check out my new LinkedIn checklist, word count tracker, and basic copy checklist! And in the spirit of all of us asking for more help, I’d love to know what other checklists or templates or guides I can support you with.

Tell me in the comments or send me a message!

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