Reaching Out - Learning to ask for Help

Many people go all the way through life and never learn how to ask for help. It’s such a simple thing, but sometimes we don’t realise when help is needed. We don’t have to know all the answers or where the support will come from all the time. The very act of asking is the right place to start.

What can we learn from reaching out and asking for help?

  • We can learn to discover what we really want.
  • By asking and getting an answer, we can hold on or let go.
  • How to recognise and receive that support if it is available and where from.

There is magic in knowing what you need and putting that need out there. We need to be clear about what we want and not be afraid to ask. Even if we are afraid, don’t let that fear stop you. In some cases relationships can improve and get stronger when we have the courage to ask for what we need. e.g When we are close to others such as our parents (for children and adolescents) or our partners in adult relationships, we can feel bad, sad or mad because we are afraid to tell the people closest to us what we really think, feel, need and want. This frustration can look like arguments and conflict with parents or partners. If we can ask ourselves “If I could ask my parent/partner anything, what would I like to ask them for? What do I need from them now?” We can be assertive rather than aggressive.

Click here for more information on "Assertive Communication"

When we don’t ask for what we want because fear gets in the way, we sometimes push the ones we are closest to away for fear of being rejected. When we are able to clearly identify what we want and express it, it takes the pressure off and we start to connect to our values. So we can ask ourselves the question – what do I need help with right now? What do I wish was different? If I could change anything, what would it be? What am I struggling with? Write a few things down that first come to mind. Some areas of life to consider that we can practice doing reflective questions: Physical health, work, money, relationships, mental wellbeing, creativity, purpose, learning and self- development.

Some further reflective questions:

  • If I were to ask for something right now, what do I think that would really give me? What would that bring to my life? How would it make me feel about myself?
  • How would it feel to be experiencing those things in my life right now? What would my life be like?

By using the reflective questions we can become clearer about our thoughts and feelings, and this will hopefully give us the courage to ask for help in the future. We may have to do a few of these questions about various areas of life to discover what our real needs are.  We may discover our self-esteem can be boosted as we learn to ask for help.  Give it a go and see what happens.

The Psychologists and counsellors at our Mates4Mates centres are trained to help, if you are needing additional support or information please contact your nearest Family Recovery Centre.

Other assistance resources:

For under 25's - "Reach Out"

For Everyone - Lifeline Crisis Support