Asking for what you need or admitting that you could use support is often a challenging request for most of us. We find that people have this false belief that they “should” be able to handle everything on their own, asking for help means they “can’t” do it, or seems like a sign of weakness. At Manhattan Wellness, we see asking for support as an ultimate sign of strength.
There’s a common misconception that being independent means you can’t lean on the people around you or have your support system help you out. But being independent has nothing to do with the support you receive from others. In fact, the awareness that you could use support and the strength in the ability to reach out reinforces that you see the value in those around you, are honoring the relationships that you have worked hard to build, and gives them permission to be there for you. Asking for help or leaning on others, doesn’t take away from your independence– in fact there’s much more power in numbers.
What would I say to a friend who was in this situation? If you had a friend who was facing similar challenges, you’d likely be kind and compassionate towards them. You’d also want to be there for them out of your care for them, not because you don’t believe in them. Try to offer yourself the same level of empathy and understanding, and remember that you’re deserving of support when you need it.
Ask for help by letting others know specifically what you need. You most likely have people in your life who care about you and would be more than happy to support you in the best way they can, but sometimes they may not know how to. Try to be clear and specific about what you need when you do reach out for support. For example, instead of saying “I’m so overwhelmed about dinner” say “Can you help me gather the ingredients?” This will let them know how they can be most helpful to you right now.
Reach out to people who can support you. It’s not about making the ask for support, it’s about who you ask for the support. Different people in your circle may have different capacities and abilities of what they could handle. For example, a friend who is going through a bad break up or who just got laid off may feel limited in their capacity to support someone during their own difficult time. It’s important to consider who in your circle may be the most equipped to support you in this moment.
Asking for help doesn’t make you a burden. Being open about your struggles and need for support gives people who care about you an opportunity to show compassion and kindness. You deserve support and many people are more than happy to provide it.
Don’t be afraid to or discouraged from asking for help – you may be surprised at the people who were waiting to support you, if they just knew how they could.
How has reaching out for support helped you most recently?
We understand that navigating, work, friendships, family, dating, and life as a young professional in Manhattan can come with many emotions and feelings behind it. This is why our Manhattan therapists offer a range of counseling services. The mental health services we offer are Depression Therapy, Anxiety Therapy, Individual Therapy, and Therapy for Self-Esteem. As well as Therapy for Women, Therapy for College Students, Maternal Mental Health Care, and more.
Are you feeling like you’re not living the life you want and need to make changes? Let’s talk about it.