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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Pudil, LCSW-R

Why Is Asking for Help So Hard?

‘Tis the holiday season full of shopping, baking, holiday parties on top of our usual demands. This all equals being overwhelmed, which is the perfect opportunity to get some help. But do we really ever ask for help? Why is it so hard to ask for help?

I was in Starbucks the other day treating myself to my favorite drink. I always get my Iced Matcha Tea in a venti cup so I have room to add more milk. They always put too much ice in it for my liking. I went to the stand to add milk, as I have done numerous times before, but this time I hit my cup and milky Matcha was spreading over the counter like a green, blob monster. I’m grabbing napkins to sop it up, but it really wasn’t doing the job. A woman behind me asks if I need help. Clearly I needed help, but instead, I reply “No, I got this”. What am I crazy? No, I don’t “got this”. It was a mess and it was spreading fast. Thank goodness that woman didn’t listen to me and got a wonderful employee to come over with a rag to sop it up. I was eternally grateful to the employee who rescued me. However, I left wondering “why was my natural response to decline the help”. It was so apparent to everyone that I needed help. Did I think it was a sign of weakness? Was I hoping to draw less attention to myself and my huge mess if I just took care of it myself? Is it not socially acceptable to ask for help? I really don’t know the answer, but this situation made me realize how second nature it is for me to not ask for help.

This is not good, but too many times I have been in a situation where I clearly need help and don’t ask for it. I try to take everything on my own until I just break. I’m sure I’m not alone in this challenge. I need to change my natural inclination and ask for help. This is one of the busiest times of the year for me and I’m sure you too. To remain mentally stable we need to ask for help in any situation, even if it’s when your Iced Matcha is a green blob taking over the counter infecting every napkin dispenser in its way. If we start to ask for help, then we make it OK for others to ask for help. Join me and let’s take a stand to ask for help this month.


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