In my post yesterday, I mentioned the importance of specifics that included requests for help. Today I’d like to share specific ways someone may ask for help. Whether combatting obstacles of mental illness or not, we all need community and personal growth tools. Recognizing those needs and voicing them creates opportunities to deepen relationships and fuel progress on goals. Consider asking a trusted friend specific questions like these.
Five Ways to Ask for Help
- Could I have more time? Especially with depression, motivation seems lackluster at best. It takes longer than usual to do routine tasks just to get to the rest of the to-do list. Letting someone know you work to complete the task lets them know you have not quit. It also gives them a chance to offer to collaborate.
- Would you look at this list with me? I’ve been exploring options for graduate school. After passing on an opportunity to attend for free years ago and recently passing after almost agreeing to go $20,000 further in debt simply because that was the convenient option rather than wait, I want to make an informed decision and one that doesn’t inadvertently create a greater stress (like a greater debt than I already have). My best friend periodically asks how my progress looks. I’ve created a document with information on the schools I consider and shared it with her. This keeps me on track and allows me to bounce ideas as well as collect more perspective. If you have a goal to pursue a new career or add to your exercise routine, ask someone to look at your options with you.
- Would you go to this place with me? Sometimes we hesitate to go somewhere to avoid the discomfort. Having a friend for moral support can help. If it makes it possible for you to make a necessary appointment or to try a new group to gain community, get someone to go with you.
- Could I tell you something? Voicing a concern makes it real, thus makes it possible to face it. Ask a trusted friend if you can share your hesitations. Then you can start exploring ways to overcome your doubt. It also gives the person a way to give you support and encouragement. Again, my friend who asks me about my school progress also reminds me of my capabilities and intellect when I share my hesitations and doubts. It helps me keep the truth push me forward rather than let the doubt hold me in place.
- Can I confess something? This continues the concept of voicing an emotion or struggle to deal with it rather than let it fester. When we feel angry, avoiding the emotion allows us to bury it and grow roots of bitterness. Voicing the emotion in prayer or to a trusted friend puts it in the light to expose it to truth and let it go. The same thing happens when we confess a wrong we’ve done.