10 Ways To Ask For Help

Aug 23, 2021
10 Ways To Ask For Help

Why is it so hard to ask for help? What’s so wrong with asking for help? Contrary to what many feel about it, people are actually wired to help. A huge driving factor is that this contributes to people’s self-esteem and confidence. We want to help others because we want to build a relationship with them. And the best part is that we’re genuine about it—or at least we try to be. The thing is, we might not be predisposed to asking for help because we don’t want to be a bother or we want to be seen as highly independent. However, research shows that the disadvantages of not asking for help is greater than simply just asking. But how do you do it? Is there a way to do it right? The short answer is yes. Read on to learn more about how you can ask for help.


  • Be Direct, Simple and Concise.


The last thing you want to be is confusing or unclear. When you’re asking for help, use direct, simple and concise language to explain what the problem is. Then, tell them what needs to be done to solve it. Finally, explain how they can help. Leverage your communication skills so those you need help from understand how they can help you. 


  • Do Not Apologize


Apologizing for asking paints the whole helping situation in a bad light. Nobody is going to be excited to help when you put yourself down. People won’t be able to experience fulfillment from helping someone who doesn’t really want it. Besides, it’s normal to need help sometimes. It’s okay to admit that we can’t do everything on our own, and we really shouldn’t have to. So drop your “I’m sorry,” and “I hate to ask you this—” Instead, help people feel appreciated by asking them for their help with a smile. 


  • Express that You’ve Tried to Do It Yourself


Nobody wants to help someone who can’t even help themselves. In addition, people are likely going to help when they find out that you couldn’t do it on your own. You don’t have to give them a narration of what you attempted to do. Be direct to the point, as though you’ve giving them the steps you took in bullet points. This way, you also inform them what works and what doesn’t; and together, you can figure out how to solve the problem quicker. 


  • If You’ve Already Asked Once, Express that You’ve Followed the Previous Advice


Even you wouldn’t enjoy helping someone who already asked for your suggestion but didn’t follow it, anyway. People like to feel appreciated, and they expect a certain level of effort on your part, too. So if you’ve already asked help from the same person once and you ask again, make sure to tell them that you followed their advice. Keep them up to date so they know what else can be done. 


  • Think About the Your Timing


The last thing you want to do is ask at someone’s most inconvenient time. Be sensitive when you’re asking for help and consider your timing. Are they free? Do they have enough time to spare to help; or are their hands full? The thing is, people don’t like to say no because they like to conform to the trend that people are naturally helpful. Besides, it can be a little hard to say no to someone who needs help, too. But this isn’t a license to just barge in whenever you need help. Be sensitive and consider people’s priorities. 


  • "Foot-in-the-door" or the "Door-in-the-face."


These are 2 different strategies to making someone say yes. The foot-in-the-door technique goes this way: you ask them for small and easy requests first, before asking for help in bigger tasks. This way, you lead them to a warmer position where they can eventually say yes to helping you deal with the more difficult projects. On the door hand, you can try to seem overwhelming by presenting the bigger problem first—this is the door-in-the-face technique. This way, saying yes to smaller and easier tasks become more attractive. Either way, chances are that you’ll get the help you need. 


  • Utilize Various Channels


You don’t really have to ask people by going to their table, although this is highly preferable because it makes the whole experience personal. You can look at them and persuade them with gestures. But this shouldn’t stop you from utilizing other efficient and helpful platforms. You can send them an email or a video message, you can call them; or you can reach them through other social media or communication applications. Reaching out online has become a necessity especially during this pandemic, where offices and workplaces have switched to work-from-home setups. Don’t let the distance keep you from asking help.


  • Make It Personal


Make it personal, not transactional. The goal is not only to receive help, but also to cultivate relationships. You do this by explaining why their skills and talents are perfect for the job or problem at hand. This will also help them feel appreciated and confident. You need to foster a certain level of trust so people will want to help you in the first place. This isn’t flattery, this is building meaningful relationships. 


  • Follow Up


Don’t be the type to ask for help and go. Being grateful can be expressed in other ways than simply thanking the person. In fact, people who help will also be interested to know the results of their efforts. So let them know that the problem is solved or that the job is finished; and tell them how they helped. Again, this will contribute to their self esteem and confidence—they would feel effective as a helper and as a person. And to be honest, it feels good to help somebody. 


  • Help


If you offer to help people, it will be easier to ask them for help in return. This is only one of the benefits in this give-and-take process. In addition, gratitude is an effective motivation for people to go out of their way to help you. I’m not saying you should help with an agenda. What I’m saying is that the generosity you give comes back to you in full circle.


Asking for help can be hard, especially to those who want to be highly independent or lack the social skills to approach others. I hope this piece has made it easier for you to ask for help and to help people, too!