TEC Blog When to ask for help

“Asking for help makes us vulnerable, and yet through that vulnerability, some of the most magical relationships have a chance to form.” — Misti Burmeister

Asking for help is not easy. Most of us worry that doing so will make us look vulnerable, weak or even desperate.

Sometimes – and to some people – it does. But having been on both the giving and receiving end of helping, I can tell you that when we ask for help, everyone involved wins.

I was recently reminded of this important life lesson as I waited in the check-out line at Best Buy. It was 8 p.m., and I was eager to get home and eat dinner. Suddenly, this little pregnant lady from Nepal tapped me on my shoulder (actually, it was more like a gentle shove) and asked, “Got big car?”

“Yeah, it’s kinda big,” I responded, thinking, Oh, gosh, did I park my Xterra too close to her car?

“Fit TV?” she asked.

“Um … I think so.”

“Take to my apartment?”

“Where do you live?”

“Close by.”

Now, “Close by” means different things to different people! So, I pulled out my iPhone, opened the maps, and asked, “What’s your address?” It was only 20 minutes away, so I agreed.

Perhaps some people would have either pretended not to understand her and walked away, or looked at her like she was crazy for asking a stranger for such a favor. I was inspired by her courage to ask – and a little humored by her husband’s reaction to her courage (he ducked his head behind some movies an aisle over).

Let’s face it, we all need help sometimes, yet few are willing to make the request, fearing rejection or judgment.

After the Best Buy folks loaded her TV into my car, she said, “K, see you at my house. You got address, right?”

“No, no,” I told her. “I have your address, but I’m following you.” Apparently, I was more worried about having her brand new 55-inch TV than she was!

When we got to her apartment, she popped out of the car and said, “Make tea?”

“Of course,” I said, knowing how important it is to allow those we help to do something for us in return.

After helping her husband carry in the new TV – which was almost as big as the room it was going into – I was handed a small plate of traditional Nepalese Chicken Momo. The tea was soon to follow. Both were delicious!

Asking for help makes us vulnerable, and yet through that vulnerability, some of the most magical relationships have a chance to form. Yes, you might get rejected, or you might give someone the opportunity to feel good about helping you.  In this case, I got the chance to be part of this family’s life – if only for a short time – and to feel a greater sense of connection and community. That was reward enough for me.

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Do you ask for help? How do you get over your fear of rejection?

Keeping it simple,

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across GenerationsHidden Heroes and Power Suck.

Misti on Google+