In life, you’ll likely experience times when you want something from someone else. You might be thinking, “I’m very independent. I can do everything for myself. I can learn how to do new things and I will get for myself whatever I want.”

Even though that may be mostly true, there might still be the rare situation when you have to look to someone else to fulfill a personal wish.

Learning to effectively ask for whatever you want makes all the difference in the world!

Use these strategies when you need something from someone:

  1. Give yourself permission to reach out for help. It’s okay to let others know you could use some extra labor to finish a job.

  2. Use an “I” statement. You consciously own what you say when you start a sentence with “I.” An example is, “I need a ride to work on Wednesday, so would you mind coming to pick me up on your way to work that day?” Another example is, “I’d like for you to come to dinner with me on Thursday.”

  3. Recognize that others probably ask you for help frequently. Usually, it’s not a big deal to ask for something. It goes on a lot. When you notice that the people around you are requesting things too, it will be easier for you to do the same.

  4. Be specific about you want. Others are more willing to lend a hand when it’s clear to them what you want. If you want a ride to the airport, rather than say, “I’d like a ride to the airport,” state, “I’ve got a flight out of the Boston airport tomorrow and my car is in the shop. Can you drop me off there tomorrow morning before noon?”

    Imagine if your best friend calls tomorrow and says, “I need to borrow some money,” rather than “Could I borrow $50? I can pay you back in 3 days on payday.” You would likely prefer the latter as you’d know how much money they need and when specifically they plan to pay you back.

  5. Acknowledge and accept your limitations. Be realistic about what you think you should do on your own. Overwhelming yourself with trying to achieve some things without help is worse than accepting your limits and getting assistance.

  6. Offer to trade work or skills. Perhaps you’d like to barter with a friend or family member for assistance. You can help them paint the living room if they help you work on your car. When you see that someone in your social circle could use a hand to do something you have the skills for, make them an offer and ask for their help as a trade.

Still reluctant to ask for what you want? Consider these ideas:

  1. Others will probably be thrilled that you asked for help. We’re often pleased that someone thinks highly enough of us to ask for our assistance.

  2. When you ask for help, it shows others that it’s appropriate to do so. Humans learn many behaviors by observation, so when you reach out for guidance or some type of aid, others will feel better about doing it, too.

  3. It will warm your heart to accept help. Your faith in human nature can be renewed when you see how eagerly others will step forward to lend a hand. Plus, it feels wonderful to be encouraged by those who care about you.

  4. Your job or issue will be resolved. Nothing succeeds like success. When you ask for help, you’re efficient because you’ll get something done and your life will move forward.

We all need help from time to time and you will, too. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You’ll be surprised at how willing others are to lend a hand!