There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Now and then, we’ll need the help of other people. No one has a monopoly of anything and the world doesn’t revolve around anyone. Also, no man is an island. As a child you’ll need help, as a teenager, a college student, a professional, a married man or woman, an elderly man or woman… everyone needs help. However, many people often find it difficult to ask for help from people. Sometimes you might feel like asking for help will inconvenience others, which you don’t want. Other times, it might be as a result of the last response someone gave. Regardless, you’ll still have to do it again and again if you want to thrive, grow, and live a successful life.
As a student, you certainly cannot do this school thing on your own. You’ll need guidance from teachers, seniors, colleagues, parents, and other people. A popular African saying goes thus; “it takes a village to raise a child”. Hence, emphasizing the need for assistance to become successful. We’d explore ways you can request and receive help from. people as a student in the article. However, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more updates and insightful posts.
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Table of Contents
How to Identify When to Seek Assistance
The first step in seeking help is recognizing that you need help. As a student when you notice any of these things, know it’s time to speak out and ask for help.
- When you struggle to understand a course or a material
- When you feel overwhelmed and can’t concentrate on schoolwork properly
- When there’s a decline in your academic performance.
- When you’re facing personal issues, maybe family problems, relationship problems, health challenges, mental problems, etc.
- When you begin to feel uninterested in things that were once a source of happiness it’s now affecting your overall performance.
- When you discover you cannot properly handle failure and it’s beginning to affect your perception of yourself.
- When it seems as though everyone around is complaining about your attitude.
When any of these instances come up, it’s a sign that you need to ask for help. However, asking for help from the wrong set of people can also worsen the situation. It’s best to meet with and speak with the following
- Parents and guardians (this is if they aren’t contributing to the problem)
- Your spouse
- Trusted friends
- Medical personnel etc
You must identify the right person that’ll help you navigate your way through the problem.
Effective ways to ask for Help when you need it
If you’re finding it difficult to ask for help and you can’t seem to provide the solution to the challenges you’re currently facing, then these tips will prove helpful:
1. Be direct, communicate clearly
We often don’t communicate clearly and expect other people to get what we mean and give what we need. However, it doesn’t happen that way. If you can’t explain your problem properly, people may not be able to help you because they do not understand you. If you’re struggling with a course and your friend can help you can say something like:
I discovered I’ve been struggling to understand______ course. I’ve tried my best but I’m still not getting it. I’d appreciate it if you could take out time to tutor me. I know you have a lot on your plate but I’ll appreciate your help.
Rather than giving signs or complaining or expecting that your friend knows that you’re struggling and should be the one to reach out. It might be a lot, but speaking out is a whole lot better than keeping quiet.
2. Be vulnerable, but know when to hold back
Also, when asked for help, especially when it comes to emotional issues, you must be vulnerable. However it is advised to be selectively vulnerable and as time goes on, you can further express yourself if the person you’re talking to proves trustworthy. This is especially true for those who have been judged, misunderstood, or disappointed because they chose to open up. Don’t tell deep things to people who have a proven track record of not handling sensitive issues properly, your case will not be an exception. Know when to open up, know how much to open up about, and know when to fall back.
3. Clearly state your needs without ambiguity
When reaching out for help, be precise and clear on what you want, it’s now up to your helper to decide what to do. State your needs and be clear about it. Narrow it down and identify the details. If you’re experiencing financial problems, state it and have a clear amount you’ll need help with. Also, show some form of responsibility by stating previous ways you have tried so that they know how serious you are with getting help. Diagnose the problem properly and understand it before reaching out for help.
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4. Be sincere
Also, you don’t use a commanding tone when asking for help. You’re not demanding, you don’t have control over your helper, you’re only asking. Be as polite and as sincere as possible. Your body language, tone of voice, and words should communicate how important you need that thing.
5. Prepare to expect anything
It might be difficult to say but no one owes you anything. So, when you ask for help, keep in mind that you may or may not receive help. This doesn’t mean that people hate you or don’t want to help you. They may just be limited at that point and be incapable of providing any form of help. Don’t be angry and don’t dislike them. Don’t also allow rejection to hinder you from going to meet another person for help. It’s better you take the risk and then move on to other things. You can explore other options to solve the problem.
6. Don’t misuse opportunities
When people offer to help you and they follow through, know that they are good people who desire to help you. Don’t leverage on that to become a leech expecting that they help you every single time and bring your problems to them. Be considerate and be sensitive to their needs. Also, help when they’re in need and you can afford to. When you misuse opportunities, it takes a while for things to get back to normal.
7. Do not apologize
Additionally, you might find yourself wanting to apologize multiple times while stating your requests so the situation doesn’t look awkward. Don’t do that. Politely state your case, be respectful, and then be open-minded to see if your helper will grant your request. Resist the urge to apologize over and over again.
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8. Leverage on Technology
As a student, a professional, or anyone in need, explore other options in your capacity before reaching out for help. If you’re having trouble with academics, explore learning sites online to help you. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your time, make use of applications that can help. However, when you get stuck and can’t help yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out!
In conclusion, asking for help doesn’t reduce your worth. It doesn’t make you smaller or any less of yourself. Also, helping others doesn’t make you better than them as you might need their help tomorrow. Also, learn the art of gratitude. When people help you, always ensure you acknowledge their help and you thank them. This will encourage them to help you next time when you reach out to them.
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