Asking for help
Posted on 19th September 2018 at 09:00
It seems to be a common human failing that we all find it difficult to ask for help at times.
Sometimes it’s because of a terrier like tendency not to let go until we’ve sorted whatever it is out. “I’ll do this if it’s the last thing I do.”
Or, perhaps, it’s down to embarrassment – or pride – that we think we’ll look stupid if we ask for help. “Everyone else can do it, why can’t I?”. “What will people think?”
While it may sound like a bit of a cliché, there’s nothing stupid about asking for help. In fact, exactly the reverse could be said to be true. Knowing that you need help but not asking for it, now that is stupid.
Life is all about learning. How to start doing new things. How to do old things better.
While it would be great to be able to do everything perfectly first time, life just isn’t like that. Look at any skill you’ve mastered – large or small – and it’s been built up incrementally over time. With lots of practise and plenty of mistakes. And, usually, with some sort of help or assistance. Whether from a person, book, course or trusty You Tube video(!).
However, there’s one common mistake we’ve all made at some time when asking for help. One that’s guaranteed to trip us up. We ask the wrong person. And by this we mean someone who knows no more about whatever it is than we do. Who has probably never done it either. Then, just to make matters worse, rather than admit that they don’t know anything about it; they give complete rubbish as an answer so they don’t look stupid. Talk about a recipe for disaster.
Think about it this way. Say you needed help with your car. Would you ask a mechanic at the local garage or your friend down the pub who hadn’t the first clue about cars? And yet, all too often, we ask the friend with predictable results.
An often given response to this observation is that they don’t want to waste the expert’s time – even though, ironically they’re wasting their own in the process. But, if you just stop and think about it for a moment, this doesn’t make any sense at all.
Whatever it is we do well, it’s a joy to be able to pass on our experience and knowledge to others. However, there is a big caveat here. That it's then put into practise. What’s guaranteed to annoy someone is when they’re asked for their help – or advice – and nothing then happens. Now that is stupid.
As always, the choice is yours.
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