How to Ask for Help When You Feel
Isolated and Alone
Life almost never goes the way we think it will.
And in this pandemic, those difficulties can come to the forefront. Whether you're going through a job loss, grieving a death, or just feeling alone, you should know there is help out there for you.
Often, the biggest barrier between you and solid support is your own reluctance to reach out. That doesn't mean any of this is your fault. Fears and anxieties about asking for help are common and natural.
But if you're thinking about reaching out to the people in your life, this is an article to give you that final push. Here's how to overcome your fears and ask for help.
Identifying Your Network
When you're in need of help, it's common to feel like you don't have anyone to lean on.
But take a moment to think further—are there people you're forgetting? There might be people in your life who'd be there for you even if you aren't expecting it.
You don't have to be limited to your family members or the friends you see most often. Can you think of anyone you know who seems like a good listener? Or someone who has expressed an unexpected level of care toward you?
In many cases, getting through a difficult situation with someone's help can be the start of a wonderful bond. Think of people in your community who enjoy helping others they might not even know at first.
If you're religious (and in many cases, even if you're not!), you can reach out to a local religious leader for help. And you might want to check whether your town has any community mental health hotlines or centers you can go to.
This might seem counterintuitive, but being direct can actually help you overcome your nerves when asking for help. Although it might seem like a big hurdle to state exactly what it is you're struggling with, the other side of that hurdle can feel much freer.
So when you're asking a friend if they're free to talk on the phone, don't be afraid to mention that you want to talk about something difficult in your life. This way, both you and your friend can be prepared when you get on the call. And even if you get nervous and have trouble bringing up what you called about, your friend can gently nudge you in the right direction.
This is true even if what you are asking for is something like money or a favor. Conversations like these are often uncomfortable, but being honest and direct before the conversation happens can make the rest of the process easier.
And one way to help yourself be direct is to go to the experts. Mental health centers like New York Therapy Placement Services Inc. are used to helping people deal with the most difficult situations in life.
You Don't Have to Wait to Ask for Help
One thing that might be making you put off asking for help is the idea that you should stick it out alone as long as possible. Some people treat reaching out as a last resort.
But this doesn't have to be the case! Sure, you might know some people who pride themselves on being "self-sufficient" and not leaning on others, but this is often an impossible (and misguided) ideal. There's nothing wrong with getting help when you need it.
If it helps, take a moment to think about how your relationships can be strengthened by this vulnerability. When you reach out for help, you're letting people know that you trust them enough to let them see this part of you. And it helps them learn more about who you are.
There are many people out there who feel energized by the chance to bond with someone and work toward healing together. If anyone in your life is treating your struggles as a burden or an inconvenience, you should know that there are plenty of other people who will react in a different way.
So don't wait until your hardships reach a crisis level (although if that's where you are, now's as good a time as any to ask for help). No matter how big or small your problems might seem, both you and the people in your life can likely benefit from a more open, vulnerable relationship.
Spread it Out
When you're building your support system, it's a good idea to go to more than one person for support. This doesn't mean that you're "too much" for one person or that you have to make your needs seem smaller.
Spreading out your support is a way to solidify your network and make you feel more secure. It can also lower the barrier to reaching out. This way, you're not asking someone to be your entire support system—you're just looking for some help.
And if the people in your life also know each other, this can help them look out for you. For example, if you're in a crisis and one person knows about it, you can ask them to let others know as well.
You're Not Alone
Even though you may be feeling alone right now, you could be just a few phone calls away from the beginnings of a great support system. Chances are, there are plenty of people who would love to help you out—you just haven't asked yet.
Remember that when you ask for help, you aren't the only one who will benefit. Being vulnerable enough to reach out is a gift to those who care about you. And it could open up an opportunity for a bonding experience you'll both remember forever.
You—and the people in your life—will get through this. And it'll be better together.
For more tips on personal wellbeing, look through the rest of this site!