How to Ask for Support When You Need It Without Sounding Pathetic
“Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.” – Mariska Hargitay
Holidays can be particularly stressful and threatening for many people, especially those who are in recovery, are working to cut out or cut back on alcoholic intake, suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, lack family or readily-available allies to turn to for support. Before your emotions and vulnerability propel you into a point of no return, to where you consider giving up, returning to alcohol or drugs, or feel generally hopeless, make it a point to get help. Try these tips to ask for support from others when you need without sounding pathetic.
Most people can instinctively detect an insincere request when they hear one. On the other hand, when someone has a genuine need for help and asks for it, even if the other party can’t help, they are more likely to empathize and potentially offer suggestions as to where help is available. The only way to get your need for support heard is to ask for it. Just make sure you’re genuine when you make the request.
Be honest with yourself.
Telling yourself lies may seem like the easiest course of action, but it won’t prove effective when you need support. Be brutally honest with yourself in this case. Instead of the tendency to focus on all your wrongdoings, disappointments, failure and shame, single out what you do that’s good, positive traits you possess, how you care deeply about others. This also entails forgiving yourself and vowing to be the best version of yourself. It takes work, and determination to overcome what’s presently getting you down, yet you can accomplish a great deal by undergoing this process.
Make your request specific.
Instead of a vague request for help, it’s best to be as specific as possible. Lumping all that you’re stressed about together will likely prove overwhelming, with the result that you can’t focus on the most pressing needs. Take time to narrow it down to what’s most important that you need help for right now. For example, if you feel you’re in danger of relapsing after treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or if you’re feeling vulnerable during the holidays now that you’re in recovery, say so to the person you’re seeking help from. The more specific your ask, the more likely the recipient of your request will understand what you need and have an idea what they may or may not be able to do for you. If their response is that they can’t help you, ask if they know someone who can. This gives them a way to provide some measure of support – helping you find someone to aid you further – and gives you an additional avenue to pursue.