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Knowing when to ask for help

We all know the male stereotype who never asks for directions no matter how lost he is, and we can all be a bit like that sometimes. At the other end of the spectrum is the ‘victim’ who has mastered the art of helplessness (sometimes unconsciously) in order to extract sympathy and support from others. So it is question of getting the balance right between the two extremes.

For the sake of our self esteem, it is good for us to be free of unhealthy dependence on others. However, extreme self reliance can be very isolating and can deny us the help we need….if only we asked ( usually a necessary step). Asking for help can also be a very good way to develop relationships, particularly if there is an opportunity to reciprocate.

Listening to the life stories of successful people I am often struck by how well they achieve a balance between self reliance ( ‘get up and go’) and actively seeking help to achieve their goals. If you are one of those who is slow to ask for help remember that most people love to help, and often feel flattered to be asked. Think of how you felt the last time someone asked you for advice. Therefore, if you are held back by shyness, fear of rejection, or pride from asking for help,  these are probably not good reasons and you should think again.


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