Learn How to Give And Ask For Help

Two hands Reaching

I'm a natural born giver. If I have the time, resources or knowledge to help someone, I won't hesitate to assist them. You see I don't have any insecurity about helping others succeed. I think if you know how to do something or you know of a resource that will help someone reach their goals, you should tell them about it.

On the flip side, asking for help makes me feel extremely vulnerable. I do seek help occasionally, but it does not come naturally for me and I should probably do it more often. There are two reasons I don't like asking for help. One, I like to figure out things on my own. Two, I've been made to feel like a burden when asking for help in the past. It's a stinging feeling.

Here are my rules for giving and seeking help.

Rules for Giving Help

Rule #1: Give without expecting something in return. Quid pro quo (which basically means I give you something and you give me something) is a rule too many follow these days. Some people won’t entertain any request for help if it is not accompanied by a promise to return the favor immediately. Don’t be one of those people.

Rule #2: Give without being asked. Of course providing help without being asked shows good character, but it can also benefit you in other ways. Medical studies show that helping others improves overall physical and mental health.

Rule #3: Do what you say you are going to do. Some people will say, “yes” to a request for help and either forget about it or hope you forget about it. Follow through with all request for help, even if your answer is “no”.

Rule #4: Give timely. Who wants to wait around for you to get around to helping them? If you cannot grant a request in the near future, say so. Also, say when you will be able to help.

Rule #5: Don't give grudgingly. We all hate when you ask someone for something and they react in a defensive, hostile or condescending manner. If you are going to help someone, do it with a smile or don’t do it at all.

Rules for Receiving Help

Rule #1: Ask for exactly what you want/need and nothing more. No one likes to receive a vague request that requires them to guess what you really want. Also, no one likes to receive a huge request that requires a lot of time and resources.

Rule #2: Don't put people on the spot. If possible, make your request for assistance in private. Some people may feel like they have no choice but to help you if you ask when other people are around. That goes for email to—don’t “copy” other people when requesting help from one person.

Rule #3: Don't get emotional. Showing too much emotion in any situation can make most people feel uncomfortable. Chances are they would have granted your request if you didn't get all weird on them. Now they just want to run away from you and never see or hear from you again. Be professional.

Rule #4: Be prepared to have your request rejected or ignored. Not everyone wants to help you; not even a little bit. Some people feel like they are being taken advantage of when someone asks them for help. No matter how small the request. Or they feel like they did it on their own and you should too. Don't take it personally; that’s just who they are.

Rule #5: Don't think the worst of people because they decline or ignore your request for help. They may have a legitimate reason for not helping. People are busy doing their own work and living their own lives. They may feel that they don't have the time or resources to help someone else.
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