It’s hard to ask for help, especially when you’re on your own
Everyone needs help getting through life. Hell, sometimes you need help just getting through the day! This happens to all of us regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or marital status, so why is it so hard to ask for help? Single people have an especially difficult time asking for help from others and there are many reasons for this. Singles are looked down on for being single, so if you also need help with something it’s just another “deficiency” you have. You may feel you need to prove that you’re self-sufficient; you don’t want to appear any more pathetic than you think people already see you. Or it could be that you’ll feel like you’re inconveniencing someone or you’re now indebted to them and how in the world are you going to pay them back? Other adults are taking care of themselves just fine, but you feel like a burden. Even if all you need is a shoulder cry on, you may feel like no one really understands. You might feel silly for even needing emotional support. The truth is, though, that you need help and support on every level and since you don’t have that one person who’s “required” to be there for you, you have to broaden your horizons. The good news is that help is out there and I’m here to show you where to find it and how to ask for it!
How do you ask for help?
The first step in asking for help is gaining the confidence to do so. You have to put aside the notion that you’re helpless or pathetic just because you’re single. Your married friends need help, too, and who do you think they’re asking for help from? That’s right, their spouses. They have a built-in go-to that you don’t have, but that’s okay because sometimes they have to ask for help from others, too. A spouse is not the be-all-end-all in every situation. Take comfort in knowing that absolutely everyone has to ask for help from someone for something at some point in their lives. You have to get past the belief that people are saying, “If only you had a partner then you wouldn’t be asking me for this.” What they’re more likely saying is, “I know it’s harder for you, so how can I help?” That’s right, people generally want to help other people. It makes the person they’re helping feel good when they’ve gotten the help they need and it makes the person giving the help feel good because they were able to help someone in need. Think about the last time you helped someone. Didn’t you feel good afterward? Of course! And that’s exactly how people will feel when they’re asked to help you, too. You’re actually giving them a feel-good opportunity when you think about it. So, don’t feel like a heel when it’s time to ask someone for help with something. Take a deep breath and say, “Hey, would you mind helping me with something?” And then smile and let it out when the response you get is, “Sure, what’s up?”
Who do you ask for help?
I’m sure you have a list of people you can ask for help, even if you don’t think you do. Start by making a list of the people in your life that you feel you can count on when you need help with something. Your list might contain family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Next, make a list of things you need help with on a regular basis or things that might come up. Your list might include minor repairs around the house, rides to the airport, heavy lifting of some kind, someone to help you change a tire or rescue you on the side of the road, financial advice, even getting a large purchase home from the store when all you have is a Vespa. Now, match up the two lists. Identify who from your list of people will be there for you when something on your list of needs comes up. You can identify backups, too, just in case your first choice isn’t available. Just knowing who you’ll go to when certain situations crop up will put your mind at ease. You can even let these people know that they’re your go-tos so they don’t get caught off guard. This is no different than choosing someone as your emergency contact for different situations, so treat it the same way. If there are things on your list that you have no idea who you can count on, turn to the professionals. A handyman can help you with minor repairs around the house. Uber can take you to the airport. AAA will change your tire or rescue you on the side of the road. A financial planner can give you money advice. And movers can do the heavy lifting or deliver your large purchase. Sure, it’s nice if people you know can help with these things, but having a list of reliable professionals in your pocket doesn’t hurt, either.
How do you not feel like a burden when asking for help?
Again we come back to confidence. If you don’t feel confident asking for help it’s probably because you don’t want to be a burden on someone and you don’t want to feel indebted to them. The way to not feel like a burden is to drill it into your own head that other people really do want to help you. If you meet resistance from someone when asking for help then maybe you need to choose someone else for that particular type of help. If you meet resistance from that person over and over then you need to identify a new person. But what if you feel like you’re always the one asking, asking, asking, and never providing any help of your own? This can happen especially when asking for help from couple-friends. They have each other so they don’t really need to ask you for help, but the day may come. Even if it feels like the score is really uneven, you’re probably the only one who notices this. They probably just enjoy helping you. But if you can’t get past the need to pay them back in some way, do something nice for them. Have them over for a home-cooked meal, take them out if you don’t cook, or offer to babysit so they can have a date night. Get them a special gift just to say thank you for everything they do for you. You don’t have to do exactly for them what they’ve done for you, just make some kind of gesture that lets them know they’re appreciated.
Asking for help is something we all need to do and it shouldn’t be difficult. Knowing that people genuinely want to help one another should give you the confidence to make the ask when you need to. Knowing who to ask for help in what situation will take the guesswork out of it and put your mind at ease. You don’t need to feel like a burden just because you’re single and while you don’t need to keep score, either, there are many ways to return the favor. By all means, DON’T FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU!!! Say it over and over, in fact. For some instant emotional help right now, take my new 5-minute quiz, “What’s Your Single Personality Type?” It’s free and your results will lend some serious insight into where you’re at as a single person. Plus, you’ll be automatically signed up for weekly emails from me, which will provide tips, encouragement and support (read: help) as you forge ahead on your single journey!
I help single women get from where they are to where they want to be by overcoming their sadness and starting to live their best lives through mindset and lifestyle changes. Contact me to learn how it’s possible to live a single, blissful life.
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