7 Times When it's OK to Ask for Help

7 Times When it's OK to Ask for Help

If you’re one to never ask for help, it’s understandable — but sometimes you need it.


Lots of us are hesitant to ask for help because we don’t want to be a burden to anyone else. But everyone needs a hand sometimes, and people are usually glad to pitch in — you just have to let them know you’re in a bind. Here are several instances where it’s more than OK to ask for assistance.

1. Your Parent is Ill
Being a caretaker for your kids is part of the mom job description, but when your mother or father falls ill, you may find yourself having to parent your own parents. As a result, schedules may need to shift so your spouse and kids will need to be both flexible and helpful. Need your mate to go grocery shopping while you meet with your mother’s doctor? Tell him, or ask a neighbour to pick up what you need when she hits the supermarket. If your children are old enough to understand, talk honestly about your extra responsibilities and they’ll likely be happy to help where they can.

2. You’re Getting Divorced
Emotional crises are often the times when we try to go at it alone to appear strong when, in reality, we’re at our most vulnerable. You’ll be surprised when you break your news how many people will show up and offer all kinds of support. You might need a friend who’s already been through a split to help you navigate the legal stuff. Or you might just need a shoulder to cry on when the going gets really tough. Either way, don’t be a stoic — lean on your loved ones. That’s what they’re there for.

3. You Can’t Find a Babysitter
If you have to cancel your Saturday night movie date because your sitter pooped out, that’s one thing, but there’s no reason to miss an important interview or doctor’s appointment if you can get a friend or family member to mind your children for an hour or two. Every parent has been in your shoes, so it won’t be hard to find a buddy to pop over. Let her know how grateful you are by offering to watch her kids the next time she would otherwise hire a babysitter.

4. You Just Need a Break
When was the last time you actually took a day off? If you can’t remember, then it’s time to ask for some backup! Ask your spouse, sibling or friend if they can take over for an afternoon while you get a mani/pedi or a haircut or indulge in something — a museum visit, a movie or a solo kayak outing — that’ll recharge your emotional battery.

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5. You’re In Financial Crisis Mode
If you or your spouse recently lost a job, the stress can seem insurmountable. One way to feel like you’re doing something positive is to ask for advice on how to navigate the situation. If you’ve got a relative or friend in a financial profession (or he or she has been through a similar hardship) ask to sit down and go over your options. Together, you may come up with ways to refinance your mortgage or reduce your spending. Be sure to thank them properly once you’re back on your feet.

6. You Lack a Skill
If hiring a professional for a home improvement task is not in your budget, ask around for a handy volunteer to help with your DIY project. Surely you have some crafty friends who can paint a bedroom, strip an old table or help plant a few trees. When the time comes for a project at their house, they know you’ll be first in line to help.

7. You’re Moving
Moving is both stressful and labour-intensive, so helping hands can make a huge difference. If you have young kids and need a day or two to get a jumpstart on packing, ask a neighbour if you can send them over for an extended play date. Or turn packing into a moving party by inviting a few friends over to gab while wrapping plates and glasses. If you have something that requires heavy lifting, don’t risk injuring yourself just because you don’t want to be a nuisance. Call up your brawny buddies, and once the chore is done, treat them to lunch — sandwiches and chips are just fine.

Remember: Asking for help is a positive thing! It shows that you’re self-aware enough to know when you need a hand and that you trust your family, friends and colleagues to be there when you need them. Just make sure they know they can always count on you, too.

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