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The Importance of Asking for Help

If you’ve ever shied away from asking for help because of fear that you may seem weak, you aren’t alone. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for a long time, and I’m a little sick of it.

I’m not too sure why, but asking for help seems daunting. Sometimes, I feel like I’m going to be rejected, and I don’t want to put myself through that. Sometimes, I feel like it’s pathetic—I should be able to work it out myself, right?

Or maybe it’s the fact that when we’re growing up as kids, we’re told to “toughen up” and to be hyper-self-sufficient. But there’s a problem: we just end up internalizing our struggles in ways that aren’t helpful, which inhibits our growth/independence.

For so many of us, the idea of asking for help meant we were dependent, weak, uncertain or unsure of what to do. It meant that we weren’t smart enough, good enough, or worthy enough.

Over the last little while, I’ve started to think about what it really means to be a person. I think that people can do anything, and that we all have amazing abilities and capabilities for our individual bodies and minds. That being said, I’ve learned that all people have limitations. And that’s okay.

At some point or another, we’re all going to get stuck. It’s going to suck. We’ll be really upset, frustrated, hurt, and even scared. And sometimes the scariest thought that will come into our heads next is “Should I talk to someone?”

It takes a lot of courage and bravery to ask for help and support in a society that praises people for being independent and ‘put together’. But the truth is that, if you want to go fast and far, involving others can serve as rocket fuel to your happiness, health, and success. It’s like The Flintstones. No, really. Fred yabba dabba do’ing off to work by himself isn’t going to be nearly as speedy as him and Wilma hot footing together for a date night at the Bedrock Bowl. Many hands make light work. Or feet, as the analogy may go.

Asking for help can change your life. It allows for you to be more comfortable with your imperfections, open up to new people, strengthen relationships, and live a happier life. What’s also great is how good it feels to give help. Trust me, the professor you’re scared of wants to help you. Your boss won’t be annoyed—they’re there to support you. And if your friends truly care about you, they’ll be ready to encourage you in whatever way you need.

The ways in which our society teaches asking for help as a sign of weakness needs to end. We need to be able to communicate with each other openly, accept and work on ourselves, and create changes together. It’s hard, it’s frightening, but it might just save you in a moment. So, if you’re someone who is struggling, please know that you’re not alone. We all have moments where we feel destroyed, and like we can’t make it back to the top. The least we can do is support one another.

Shania Chand is currently a student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Communications, and minoring in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. She loves love. Shania is all about making sure that people feel included, accepted, and safe in whatever work that she is doing. When she isn't at school or writing, you'll find her dancing in tie dye, geeking out about space, and watching every horror movie ever made.
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