By Jon Cousins
Why is it sometimes so hard to ask for help?
Why, inside, are we sometimes hoping against hope that someone, somewhere will help us, yet we don't actually do the sensible thing, which is to just blinking ask?
Why don't we ask for help when we desperately need it?
Perhaps it's hard to admit that we can't cope on our own, because it feels like an admission of failure.
Or maybe it's because we believe those we might ask already have enough on their plates without us adding to it.
Alternatively it could simply be that our thinking is muddled. When things have got to the point where you feel you really can't cope on your own, it's likely that the negative thoughts will have taken a firm hold: I know that when this happens to me, I don't always make the best decisions.
Fortunately there's a pretty simple rule of thumb which might help you get a better sense of perspective if you're in a fix like this.
Imagine that rather than being you, you were the person whose help you might seek. And imagine that you only found out that your help was hoped for long after the need had passed, probably too late to be able to do any good. How would that make you feel? Almost certainly you'd be exasperated - a bit cross even - that you hadn't been asked. You'd probably suggest that you, not the other person, should have been the judge of whether you had too much going on yourself to be of use.
I'm pretty sure that you'd be horrified to learn that someone had needed you but didn't ask.
So now put yourself back in your own shoes. If you need help, doesn't it make sense to ask for it? You know, I'm pretty sure it does.
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