Asking for help can always feel like a challenge, but it can be particularly tough if you're an introvert. Just because something is difficult, though, doesn't mean it isn't necessary. That's why it's important to know how to ask for help if you're an introvert. Introverts often use their own reflective, thoughtful thought process to figure things out for themselves, particularly for people who enjoy a lot of alone time. That said, some issues in life are best handled with a helping hand, and that's OK! Sometimes we have practical issues we need assistance with, and even though you might be afraid of "inconveniencing" people, most of the time, others are happy to help.
Beverly D.Flaxington at Psychology Today reminds us that while society often celebrates extroverts for their outgoing natures and bubbly personalities, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. In fact, the quiet, reflective nature of an introvert can be super helpful when it comes to self-investigation and figuring out your own needs, wants, and comforts. That's why if you're an introvert and need to ask someone for help, you're actually starting from a great place: You likely have already given the issue a lot of thought, and know exactly what you need and who to ask. From there, the only hard part is the actual conversation, and even that can be overcome.
While all situations vary, and some techniques may work better for some people than for others, check out the tips below for how to tackle asking for help when you're an introvert:
1. Be Specific In Your Request
When asking for someone's help, it can be tempting to beat around the bush or give subtle hints until they make the offer. Unfortunately, though, this isn't the best way to get a concrete response out of someone. Because we can't expect people to read our minds, it's so important that when you're asking for help, you're upfront about what, specifically, you need. Sometimes it's just that you need a shoulder to cry on; other times it's that you want someone to help you move, study for an exam, or what have you. No matter what your ask is, it's always better to be direct about it.
2. Be Honest About Having A Hard Time Opening Up
If you dread asking for help because you're worried it'll feel awkward, it's OK to be honest about it not being easy for you to do it. Letting people know that you yourself feel a little uncomfortable often helps uncomfortable situations feel less awkward overall. It's also OK to pause a conversation and resume it later on, when you feel more ready.
3. Thank People For What They Can Do
This is true for all situations, but especially if you're an introvert and have trouble opening up, it can be so important to show your appreciation by simply saying, "Thank you." Saying "thank you" when someone listens is a good first step, because just offering a caring ear is, itself, an act of helping. Beyond that, it's important to let them know how much you appreciate their assistance — whether it's in a small way or a large one.
4. Practice The Conversation Before You Have It
If you're an introvert and get nervous before having an important or serious conversation, it's OK! It's totally normal to feel a little anxiety before asking someone for help. You may find that you can settle your nerves by practicing the conversation before hand, such as saying it to yourself in the mirror or by writing it down until you get the wording right. (But also give yourself the freedom to go off script in the moment.)
5. Give Yourself Positive Affirmations
Asking for help can make a lot of people feel vulnerable. If you're struggling with feelings of low self-esteem or experiencing signs of depression, it can be extra significant to remind yourself of all of your good qualities and your value. Giving yourself positive affirmations before having a difficult or stressful conversation can help you feel more confident during the actual interaction, as well as give you a bit of a padding in case the talk doesn't go exactly as you hoped. Even if you're struggling or in need of help, you have loads of value — and everyone is worth it.
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