In a world where we’re encouraged to be independent, you may worry that asking for help means that you’re imposing on someone, or that you appear ‘weak’. Yet for all the reasons you may be loathed to ask someone for help, there are just as many why you should. ‘Think about the last time you helped someone,’ says psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack. ‘Did you feel good helping them or did you feel burdened by it? Chances are you felt really good. If you don’t allow people to help you, then you’re stopping them from having that same sense of satisfaction.’ There is, however, an art to asking for support...
1. Be prepared
Make a list of five or more people you can rely on for help, such as a partner, a colleague or an old school friend. For one thing, it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket – at least one person on your list may be unable or unwilling to help you with your problem. Remember, identifying people to turn to in a crisis is best done when you’re feeling calm and clear-headed, not when you’re already in the depths of despair.
2. Write it down
If your problem is an emotionally fraught one, it can be overwhelming just figuring out where to start. Writing everything down in a letter will enable you to order your thoughts and concerns so that when you go to someone, you can say clearly, ‘This is my problem and this