I went into reading this article thinking about mental health but it turned out to be so much more.
Gary lays out the facts. Asking for help is important regarding mental health struggles, but it’s also good for us in many ways. Whether you want to talk about relationships, work, learning a new skill, or hobbies, we all get better when we get help:
When we fail to reach out and ask for help, we’re more likely to get and stay stuck. We’re more likely to struggle with overwork and burnout. And we’re bound to experience the emptiness of going it alone.
It can prevent us from maintaining closeness with friends and family. When we let our relationships and social ties lapse, it reduces our happiness and can lead to anxiety or depression.
I’ll be the first to admit that my natural reaction to being stuck on something is to tell everyone to leave me alone while I figure it out. That’s how many of us were raised by our families and had that same mindset repeated in school and the workplace. A problematic work issue will stay center-stage in my mind until I find a solution. It can really mess with your life outside of work.
What I am starting to learn, and Gary writes as well, is that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness but it might very well be an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to connect with other human beings at a personal level, it’s an opportunity to learn from the expertise of others, and an opportunity for them to put that knowledge to good use. It’s an opportunity to use that combined skill to create a better solution than I would have created by myself.
Most of all hard problems are an opportunity to work as a team or a community, something that we all need as human beings. Whether you are anxious and need a friend to support you, or you can’t find the answer to a vexing technical issue, or you simply need some help learning a new skill, it helps to have people around.