5 Therapist-Backed Tips to Make Asking for Help Easier

By Kaitlin Vogel
September 22, 2022

Whether you're juggling too many responsibilities at work or just need to ask an actual person for directions, it can be difficult to ask for help—even when you really need it. “Many of us got the message growing up that self-reliance and independence equaled success and strength,” says Julia Loewi, M.S.W., R.S.W., a psychotherapist in Ontario, Canada. “As a result, many of us get caught in a vicious cycle."

We avoid asking for help because it feels like admitting failure. "Asking for help equals failure, failure equals shame, and shame equals avoidance," Loewi says. "And the longer we avoid asking for help, the more insurmountable it seems.”

Add to that fears of judgment, rejection, and letting others down, and it's not surprising that some may try to go it alone, no matter how difficult that may be. And often, even if we realize forgoing help isn't sustainable over the long term, we may not be able to find the words to make such requests, Loewi adds.