A person on the subway carries so many groceries on their own that a bag rips, letting loose a bunch of stray fruit.

Why Is It so Hard to Ask for Help

When it comes to support, we know that it is important when it comes to best managing diabetes. But it is also key for maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, as well as for mental and emotional health. That doesn’t mean that asking for support is always very easy. Let’s explore why that is, and some points to help you overcome that barrier to asking for support.

Why is it hard to ask for help?

So why is it a challenge to say, "hey, I could use some help?" Many of the reasons why are tied to perceptions that are, in fact, not true. Here I will cover the three big offenders.

1. You cannot handle everything on your own

The first is the absurd notion that you are supposed to be able to handle everything on your own. This is completely and totally false. It is not only okay that you will need help every once in a while, actually, it is expected! We get caught up in this idea, believing we are able to and supposed to manage everything that comes along in our life with ease and without any direct or indirect support. I call this thought the “cape complex,” which implies that you are somehow superhuman.

2. Asking for help does not mean you are weak

This concept involves a second perception that makes it hard to ask for help: the idea that asking for support indicates that you are weak or vulnerable. To this, we look at the previous points, showing us that this is also false. You are human, and that’s okay. And part of being human comes with the expectation that you are not going to manage everything on your own. So when you do need support, it doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are human. And, I would argue that it actually shows a tremendous amount of strength to be able to recognize when you need support and to actually ask for it!

3. You are not a burden if you ask for help

The third perception that creates difficulty asking for help is feeling as if our request is an inconvenience to others. This thought usually creates a sense of guilt and feeling like a burden to others, and it typically involves some of the people closest to us. However, if you have ever broken through this barrier before, you have probably learned that, in most cases, the request for support was not nearly as inconvenient to that person as you had built up in your mind. And, you may even come to find that that person is excited to have the opportunity to help you.

Asking for support for diabetes management

I often find this to be the case when it comes to help dealing with diabetes and asking for support from a loved one; that person will most likely feel a sense of relief now that they know how and have permission to assist in your journey. Furthermore, this demonstration of humanness, and of reaching out to that person specifically will actually help to strengthen your relationship.

If this guilty and inconveniencing feeling is still burdening you, consider a mutually beneficial relationship. This is one where you ask for support from someone who can help with something and you are able to offer the same or other support in return. A good example of this is finding a walking partner. Another example may be asking someone to watch your kids or elderly parent while you run errands and offer to pick up items for them as well.

There you have it. Some of the biggest reasons why asking for support is so hard, but how most of this is really in our heads. In fact, asking for support shows greater strength, can have mutual benefits and strengthens relationships.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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