Why Is Asking For Help So Difficult?

4 Minutes Read


helpI am acutely aware that asking for help is painful.
I know this personally and professionally. Personally, I remember refusing to seek therapy in my younger years because I was terrified to acknowledge that I could be wrong or didn’t have all of the answers. I have a difficult time asking family for help because I fear that they will feel I am taking advantage of them. I felt excruciatingly vulnerable the day my husband and I brought our daughter home from the hospital and had to ask him to buy embarrassing hygiene products.

I recently asked a group of people in Boca Raton what their answer was to the question “Why is asking for help so difficult?” The responses were so heart wrenching.

Why People Think Asking For Help Is So Difficult

  • “Fear of rejection; not being deemed worthy of another’s efforts. All those middle of the nights, using rolls of toilet paper to sop up the misery because I didn’t think anyone would appreciate being awakened in the middle of the night just because I needed them. The loneliness was suffocating.”
  • “Shame, the feeling of inadequacy”
  • “Because if someone asks for help, they are admitting that they have lost control and don’t know what to do. They are placing a huge amount of faith in somebody else’s judgment to assist them in their own time of need. I think that it can result in a huge blow to their sense of pride and the feeling of independence can be lost. You might be ashamed of yourself, and it’s hard to let somebody else know that you have been involved in a series of poor decisions or bad choices.”
  • “I guess it means you are weak, you don’t know it all, don’t think people are going to like you, they will see who you are and all of your weaknesses. You don’t want to bother other people with your problems. And you may wonder if anybody can really help you or if anybody else could have the answers.”
  • “Pride, feeling incompetent.”

I would bet my last wooden nickel that you can relate to these responses about the difficulty of asking for help. These are the voices of our neighbors, friends, loved ones and fellow professionals.

These are our voices.

This looming fear and inadequacy keeps us all disconnected. It holds the mask of perfection and control firmly in place. I am here to take that mask off. I am vulnerable, I don’t have all the answers, and I am not perfect. I know that by acknowledging my shortcomings, I can learn what I don’t know. I can connect with others and feel worthy of being loved and cared for.

Are you willing to take the risk and ask for help?

Yes, it requires facing some painful feelings when asking for help, yet it also offers the benefit of connection, support, love and solutions!

Psychotherapy is a place to remove the mask.

  • With practice, it becomes less painful.
  • With practice you can begin to feel the worthiness that is yours.

Often times, we resist taking action and say things like “I don’t have time”, or “I can’t afford it”. In reality, this is shame or unworthiness sneaking its way in and offering us excuses that feel more acceptable.

When your mind tells you “it’s not worth it”, take a risk, challenge the thought and pick up the phone. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Call a friend, call a loved one, call me.

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