I ask for help and in turn, I return my help. I couldn’t get through life without reaching out when I need help. I love asking for little bits and pieces of advice, I ask my manicurist, my computer teacher, my editor, the concierge in our building; I ask everyone for help because I realize I don’t know everything; I want to learn. But, when I have a serious problem; when I am stymied, I am extremely selective in my choice. I ponder until I figure out the right person who can provide me with their ‘gift of help.’ I very seldom ask my friends for help because I am uncomfortable for a variety of reasons.
I think the biggest problem when asking for help is… women ask the wrong person or source.
Be wise enough to know the importance of choosing the right person to help you with your struggle(s). This is important. You want to feel comfortable. You want to feel relaxed. You do not want to feel vulnerable. I think many women ask the wrong people for help.
I will never forget my mother saying to me, “You are such a good picker.” We were in a department store in the children’s section. I was 9 years old. I remember I loved a skirt. I had no idea of the cost. My mother saw the price tag and nudged me away from the rack.
I have not lost that ability to be a good picker. It has served me well. I use my intellect and common sense to choose the right person or persons for help.
Asking for help often requires chutzpah, a little boldness and cheek. And choosing that right person or persons is critical.
1. I believe you should be spontaneous in choosing and go with your gut. When you feel a connection with a person and you need help, believe in your positive feelings and leap. And reciprocate.
2. I believe you should be professional, business-like when you are faced with a crisis. When you have a serious problem and need help spend time asking, those you respect, for sources. Do your own research. And reciprocate.
I know if you choose the most relevant person in a situation you will feel comfortable asking for help.
Here is my story about how to ask for help
This story took place 10 years ago in the Chanel Boutique in Chicago. I had a purpose that day as I closed the door of our apartment and rode the elevator down 71 floors. I had made up my mind to talk to Diane, my sales girl. We were the same age. We had a relationship. My decision that morning to seek out ‘her help’ was spontaneous. She and I had the same problem. My problem just occurred. She was a year ahead of me. She had gained wisdom. I felt comfortable asking her for help. I knew she would want to help. I walked into the boutique that cool sunny day and there she was with her charming smile. The minute I saw her I broke out in tears. I told her my story, her exact story. Diane understood. She helped me through my emotional pain over the next year. She also gave me a source who could help.
I did my homework, my research. I interviewed Diane’s source, a woman my age, who helped Diane. We clicked. I had no trouble asking her for her help. She helped me through the terror of cancer. I am beholden to both of them.
I picked the right women. It was easy to ask for help.
Ten years later… here I go again. This time I am wiser. I understand the emotional trauma. I can handle it. But, I am going to ask for help and I know just who to call on…
“No man is an Island. No man stands alone.” Thank G-d.
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If you have something to say about how to ask for help, let’s talk! I want so much to hear your opinions + feelings. I also want you to speak up so that women our age remain visible. I think we have a responsibility to share our wisdom, don’t you? Share yours either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.