As a species, we are a very curious bunch of characters. So often, rather than practice common sense we prefer to routinely practice insanity. What is insanity? Insanity is continuing the same counter-productive habit, getting the same bad outcome with the illusion that if we keep doing that habit we will receive a different outcome.
Among the 2 most insane habits most people practice in the United States are:
- We spend more than we have
- We eat more than we need (More than 2/3 of us are financially and physically obese.) Then we wonder why we are so broke and so unhealthy!
Here is another insane habit we so often practice around the world… failing to ASK FOR HELP.
This is one of the most powerful and effective habits that humans generally avoid. Insanity!
The paradox is that we often prevent the very thing that works – ASKING FOR HELP.
To get started, here are some remarkably universal truths:
Universal Truth #1: When offered help most people will likely answer “NO.”
Imagine yourself offering someone help:
- You offer help to your teenage child in doing homework
- You offer help to your spouse to solve a computer issue
- You offer help to a co-worker who appears to need it
- You offer help to a family member to solve a personal problem
What happens? Almost always the response is a resounding “NO.”
At this point, you often are quite perplexed. You think:
- My intentions are good
- I can really help here
- I can solve it right away
- My advice is quite good
- This seems insane! What’s going on?
Universal Truth #2: When asked for help people will generally answer “YES.”
Think about it.
- If I ask you for help, are you likely to say yes? Answer: YES. Why? Because if I ask you for help it helps you feel important and the single biggest need that people have to be met (beyond survival) is to feel important.
- If I ask you for help, you say yes; and you give me the help, then do I have more resources at this point or fewer resources? Answer: MORE.
- If I ask you for help, you say yes; you give me the help, I now have more resources. Then am I less powerful or more powerful? Answer: MORE POWERFUL.
Therefore, if I ask you for help:
- You will very likely say yes
- You give me the help
- I now have more resources
- I become more powerful
- That is a GOOD thing; yes?
- That is common sense; yes?
What is it that would make so many people refuse to ask for help and reject the above logical common sense? What is the deal with so many people having difficulty asking for help?
It’s because the ASSOCIATION that most of us have with the idea of asking for help. Remember, whatever you associate with something you will likely be bound by the association regardless of how true or ridiculous that association is.
What is the most common ASSOCIATION that people connect with asking for help?
It’s that ASKING FOR HELP means that you will be considered WEAK! And, because it is unthinkable to be weak you must avoid asking for help.
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Is that association true? Think about it.
Here are some very important questions I recommend you ask yourself:
- Have you ever done a research survey to determine that if you ask others for help they will think you are weak?
- Are you aware of any research that has conclusively determined that when you have an impulse to ask others for help you must override and stop the impulse because there is statistically significant data that proves people will think you are weak?
In my professional history the answers to both questions are a resounding NO!
So on what do you want to rely?
- The insane life-long association of asking for help means you are weak?
- Asking for help is very effective and reeks of Common Sense?
I imagine that when you think about it the Common Sense solution #2 is the way to go.
So how do you get started with making a habit of ASKING FOR HELP?
- CHANGE YOUR STATE OF MIND and CHOOSE THE COMMON SENSE SOLUTION.
When you ask for help deliberately switch the association in your mind from WEAKNESS TO STRENGTH.
Decide that it is common sense to ask for help because you now believe that asking for help is a good thing. Remember, if you ask others for help:
- They will very likely say yes
- They will give you the help
- You now have more resources
- You now become more powerful
- START ASKING FOR HELP! Get into the habit. What you rehearse you will duplicate.
Use any of the following for practice:
- “HELP ME UNDERSTAND.”
- “I WONDER IF YOU CAN HELP ME?”
- “I NEED YOUR ADVICE.”
- “WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?”
With enough practice you will find it gets easier. Moreover, you will notice that you can ask anyone for help, including your children, clients, co-workers, family, neighbors, and service providers. Try on any of the above openers and you will find people quite flexible and helpful.
Asking for help works wonders.
- People will say yes
- People will help
- Your relationships become more flexible
- You solve issues together
- Everyone contributes
- You replace pushback and rigidity (You or Me) with teaming and responsiveness (You and Me)
So, I need your help here, “What are your thoughts?”