Successful Support

You don't have to go it alone – here’s how to get the help you need

Do you expect yourself to be superhuman? Able to pack lunches, rock board meetings and be the ideal partner, all in a single day? You’re not alone. The truth is, however, that it’s impossible to triumph all the time in everything. And even when you do manage to kill it in any arena of life, let alone all of them, that success is not a solo mission. Translation: we all need help sometimes. The problem is, many of us have trouble asking for it. If this sounds like you, have no fear. You too can ask for the support your need to be successful at work, at home and with your friends, whether it’s a night of babysitting, a shoulder to cry on or assistance with a project at the office. Here’s how:
 
Be Realistic
Look at your day – it has 24 hours. As such, there is only so much one person can do. If you seem overscheduled, you probably are. Don’t try to do everything. Consider what you can delegate to who and how you want to ask for help.
 
Be Strategic
Be sure to match your go-to with your need. You wouldn’t ask your two year-old to balance your budget, so don’t ask for your introverted sister to spearhead the planning on your Friday night activities. Sure, she may be your go-to for everyday life, but you probably know someone else better equipped to plan a girls’ night. Choosing the right person for the task at hand will make your friends and family more willing to help, and they’ll be a lot better at it.
 
Be Vulnerable
We all want to be perceived as capable. Some of us may fear that needing help at all proves we’re anything but. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t worry about coming off as inadequate when you ask for assistance. e vulnerable. Say, “I’ve thought about it and I just can’t do this on my own… do you think you can help me, by _____________ ?”  Sharing your struggle and asking for help are integral to your success.
 
Be Courteous
Too often, we fall into the trap of having a singular go-to person for all our favors. Mix it up when it comes to asking for assistance. No one person can do everything for you and you could potentially overload those you cherish the most. Work on asking friends beyond your absolute inner circle for help. Sure this means you’ll have to cast a wider favor-net, but the occasional ask is easy and won’t be met with resentment by a true friend.
 
Be Willing to Reciprocate
Like attracts like and generosity begs reciprocating. Let your friends know you’ll help them when and where you can. Not only does it make you feel good to help a friend, it will make you more comfortable asking for their help in the future. Every request you make need not be a tit-for-tat, but if your friends know you’ve got their backs as much as they’ve got yours, you’ll create a reciprocal relationship where everyone helps each other, and nothing can beat that!
Stephanie K. Smith is a freelance writer working across mediums. Her pieces have appeared on sites ranging from CNN.com to National Lampoon and she’s written television pilots for Fox, CBS, The CW and Legendary Television. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Dash and their (girl) cat, Fred.  http://www.stephanieksmith.com/

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