When we are children, we are taught from an early age to ask for help. We asked for help using the scissors, we asked for help with our homework. We probably even asked for help when we didn’t need it, and it didn’t occur to us to feel guilty or ashamed. When we become teenagers and adolescents, even though things may have been new or difficult, help was becoming harder to ask for.
We began to associate help and advice with signs of weakness or even being controlled. We would often deliberately shun help to demonstrate our independence to others, perhaps making a big mistake in the process. What many of us haven’t realised is that we may still be living this way. As adults, asking for help can still have the same negative connotations that it did for us when we were teenagers. We feel ashamed, guilty, or worry that people will attempt to control our decisions.
We often feel that help is an admission of defeat. And sometimes, even when we have decided to ask for help, we don’t know who to ask for it or where to begin! It’s time to reverse the trend. Difficulties and times of confusion are an inevitable part of life. But the suffering and feelings of isolation that go along with them doesn’t have to be. We need to recognise that there is strength and wisdom in asking for help. We are not admitting defeat. We are actually taking action to ensure our own success! There are several signs in our life that we should be aware of that may mean it’s finally time to ask for help.
Denial and Distraction Spells Disaster
It is part of our nature to wish to protect ourselves. It is a very developed trait in our mental and physical reactions to avoid suffering and not take unnecessary risks. It’s not difficult to understand how this benefits us, but it can be difficult to tell when it has gone too far. If there is a problem that is worrying us, it is natural that we don’t enjoy thinking about it or will be glad when it’s over. It might be something as simple as a particular meeting or event, or something as serious as a financial repayment or a medical operation.
Whatever the circumstances, we should be aware of the warning signs that we are avoiding dealing with it. If we find that we are regularly denying the existence of the problem to either ourselves or others, it’s almost never positive. If we also find that we indulge in distractions whenever we should be dealing with the problem, this can also be a bad sign.
Distractions might simply be that we watch television instead of making the important call and doing the maths to assess the problem. Or the distractions might be more problematic, like continuing spending or excessively consuming alcohol. If we are struggling to face something, we shouldn’t feel guilty or punish ourselves. But we should acknowledge that we are not dealing with things directly and that it’s time to ask for help.
The Benefits of Asking For Help
On a superficial level, it is true that asking for help takes some of the pressure off us. It lifts a burden and delegates a workload, or adds perspective. These reasons may make it seem like we have lost or “given up” control of the situation, but we need to think carefully about this.
Our constant distracting or avoiding behaviour was what was truly giving up control of the situation. Asking for help is actually a way of regaining control of the situation. Even if someone else is on board, we orchestrated that change. We should feel empowered and confident that we can face situations whatever the outcome, knowing that we have support.
It is important and wise not to allow negative thoughts about asking for help to surface. Feelings of guilt or admitting defeat can often be traced back to our feelings in adolescence. They are not actually valid or relevant to our current life. Asking for help should be a new source of confidence and pride for us. It shows humility, intelligence, and a desire to genuinely face things and improve. It indicates our courage, not our lack of control. By asking for reliable help, we can take steps to improve our situation.
Knowing What Help Is Available
If we have summoned the courage and wisdom to ask for help, what next? Where do we go to seek expert advice or support? Of course, generally speaking, the help we should seek depends directly on the type of problem we’re experiencing. Not all problems have only one area that worries us, however.
For example, it might seem obvious with a medical problem to seek the advice of doctors. However, the medical side of the problem might not be the only thing that’s worrying us. We may also have financial concerns, and unwritten will, emotional difficulties and more. It can be helpful to work methodically.
We can sit down and make a list of what is worrying us, if we so wish, or discuss it honestly with someone we trust. After the list, we should work in small steps to do some research or ask for someone to help us. If finances worry us, we should begin by researching reputable companies like Omni Financial and other sources. If we are worried about an addiction or our mental health, we can research support groups and charities.
Once we begin looking, it can be amazing to discover how many people are in a similar situation. Our feelings of helplessness and isolation can dissolve when we read that other people felt the same way we did and managed to recover. It can also be hugely encouraging to see how much support and comfort is available to us, whatever our problem. Asking for help shouldn’t fill us with the feeling that we have lost control of our situation or are admitting defeat. We should encourage ourselves to recognise that the opposite is true. We are actively taking steps that will improve our situation and making the most of all that the world has to offer.