I have elective surgery coming up and my biggest fear isn’t the procedure, it’s finding someone to drive me home. If only an Uber driver could sign for my release and spare me the agony of imposing on someone to give up their afternoon to shuttle me home! That’s a big ask. But it has to be done. To relieve my anxiety, I did some research. What I found is that if I can put my ego aside, asking for help is loaded with benefits. Here are ten reasons why:
1. Shows respect
When you ask someone for help, it shows that you value their opinion. When you genuinely ask someone for something that’s going to tap into their expertise or skill set, you’re showing that you see them as accomplished. You’re actually validating them while at the same time, showing them that you’re human too.
2. Breaks down barriers
Asking for help breaks down barriers of communication. It helps you get past your ego’s need to go it alone, protecting you from invasion. While you may have worked hard to prove your worth, if you don’t ask for help on occasion, you will have built a wall and isolated yourself.
3. Creates a connection
When you ask someone for help you make an opportunity to engage with them, which in turn creates a connection. It starts with the simple act of asking the question. If you genuinely are seeking help and don’t have an alternative motive, you allow for an authentic response. This builds trust and opens things up for something more.
4. Solicits compassion
Asking for help shows you’re vulnerable, which is part of being human. It reveals your true side. The quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” (John Watson) could be just as much about you as it is anyone else. When you act with authenticity, it gives others a chance to respond on a deeper level.
5. Compels contribution
Asking for help allows the other person to contribute. People are driven to want to assist. We have an innate desire to attach to other people. When you ask someone to help you, you are giving another person an opportunity to fulfill this need.
6. Promotes learning
Asking for help benefits the helper by providing a learning opportunity. Your chosen recipient may not have all the information but is so willing to help that the request might motivate them to find out more.
7. Takes action
Asking for help stops procrastination. When you take the step to ask you’re putting the wheels of motion into play. And with someone else involved, it makes you accountable and you’re more likely to finish what you’ve started.
8. Invites spirituality
Asking for help creates a spiritual quality by putting your message out to the universe. Just by stating your intent, you let your need be known. It moves beyond you to whatever force will take it on.
9. Decreases stress
Asking for help decreases stress. By taking action and making progress, when you set things in motion and work towards a goal, you trigger the dopamine region in your brain which helps with stress and ultimately makes you happy.
10. Shows maturity
Asking for help shows that you have a growth mindset. It frees up space which allows you to move on to other things. Also, it shows that you have enough self-awareness to address something that isn't serving you and that you have the wisdom to not let your ego take control.