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How to ask for help without making it weird

Apologizing Profusely

Apologizing Profusely

Being part of a group implies occasional mutual reliance and reciprocity. Excessively apologizing and justifying a request for help implies that you don’t feel part of the group, increasing the gap between people and severing feelings of connectedness.

Instead, make a request and offer appreciation when someone helps you. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to ask for help without making it weird

How to ask for help without making it weird

https://qz.com/work/1302535/how-to-ask-for-help-without-making-it-weird/

qz.com

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Key Ideas

Reinforcing People’s Helpfulness

  • Strong sense of in-group: the belief that the person in need is on your team makes us more helpful to them as we care about what happens to the in-group. 
  • Opportunity to reinforce the helper’s positive identity: people help more when they reflect on why it’s important to them to “be a benefactor to others.” 
  • Opportunity to see one’s own effectiveness: people want to see or know the impact of the help they have given or will give. 

2 types of gratitude expression

  • Other-praising: involves acknowledging and validating the character or abilities of the giver;
  • Self-benefit: which describes how the receiver is better off for having been given help. 

The former makes people feel better with themselves and that you are more grateful when compared to the latter.

Reminding People That They Owe You One

If you have to remind someone that they owe you one, chances are they don’t feel as if they do. Reminding them that they owe you a favor both makes the other person feel as if you’re trying to control them and it makes the other person feel as if you’re keeping a scorecard, and that’s fundamentally bad for relationships.

Portraying Help As A Tiny Favor

By minimizing our request, we also minimize the helper’s help and thus minimize any warm feelings the act of helping us might have generated.

Emphasizing The Other Person's "Benefits"

Helping does make people happy, but reminding them of this generally drains the joy out of helping. It reeks of manipulation and control, undermining the helper’s sense of autonomy, and it’s very presumptive.

Using Disclaimers

Some feel the need to clarify that they are not asking for help out of laziness or weakness. Although understandable, the people asked to help this way may feel imposed upon as they can’t get a lot of personal satisfaction from helping you knowing that you hated having to ask.

Apologizing Profusely

Being part of a group implies occasional mutual reliance and reciprocity. Excessively apologizing and justifying a request for help implies that you don’t feel part of the group, increasing the gap between people and severing feelings of connectedness.

Instead, make a request and offer appreciation when someone helps you. 

Overdoing It On Empathy

Empathy is elicited when we perceive someone or something in need, when we value their welfare, and most importantly, when we take their perspective.

Eliciting empathy can be a very effective way to obtain support. But it stops working the moment the pain becomes too great, as the person from whom you are trying to elicit empathy may shut down and try to get away.

The Selfish Motivation For Helping

It’s a common misconceptions that giving is not supposed to be about you. But choosing to help another is often, if not always, at least in part about how you see yourself and how helping will make you feel. And this is a good thing, because the benefits of helping to the helper provide a powerful source of motivation.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

"You're going to love helping me!"
"You're going to love helping me!"

Don't try and convince someone how much they will enjoy helping you. It reeks of control and is presumptive. It drains their joy out of helping.

How they feel is for them to decide.

A small favor

One common tactic is to portray the help we need as so small, that it is barely a favor. "Would you add these updates to the database? It won’t take you more than five minutes.”

It is conveying that you think the work the other person does is easy, quick, trivial and not very taxing. That’s not a great way to enlist help. You might also underestimate the size of the favor. Do not presume it won’t take them very long the next time you ask them for help.

Scorekeeping

While reciprocity does make people more likely to comply with the request, it also makes us feel controlled, which takes all the fun out of it.

Reminding someone that they owe you a favor does not create good feelings. Scorekeeping is fundamentally bad for relationships.

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What Not To Do When Asking For Help
What Not To Do When Asking For Help
  • Instruct people.
  • Tell or imply that they should help our debt they don’t have a choice about it.
  • Using unnecessary prefaces makes people feel trapped.
  • Profusely apologi...
Reinforce A Request For Help
  • In-group: Assuring that you’re on the helper’s team and the team’s importance taps into our need to belong to and perpetuate supportive social circles. 
  • Positive identity: Creating or enhancing their recognition that they are uniquely placed to provide assistance and that they aren’t just “people who can help” but routinely helpful people. 
  • Effectiveness: People want to know the impact of the aid they will give. Knowing one’s actions have an effect is a fundamental human motivation. 
Research Results On Helpfulness
  • Studies indicate that people are willing to help more often than we expect.
  • Studies suggest that we underestimate how much effort those who do agree to help will put in.
  • Those who help others get to feel better with themselves than those who don’t.

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Tips To Better Ask For Help
Tips To Better Ask For Help
  1. Demonstrate that you've tried to help yourself. Briefly explain what you've tried independently so they know you've tried to solve your problem for yourself before.
  2. Demonstra...
The Benjamin Franklin effect

Is a psychological phenomenon that causes us to like someone more after we do that person a favor: We justify our actions to ourselves, that we did them a favor because we liked them.

The cognitive dissonance theory

Suggests that holding 2 or more contradictory beliefs at the same time causes people to experience mental discomfort, which manifests as psychological stress. 

And people will always seek to minimize their cognitive dissonance and the discomfort it creates.

The Benjamin Franklin effect has generally been explained using cognitive dissonance theory.

Essentially, this means that when someone does you a favor, they need to be able to justify...

The Benjamin Franklin effect has generally been explained using cognitive dissonance theory.

Essentially, this means that when someone does you a favor, they need to be able to justify it to themself, in order to avoid the cognitive dissonance that might occur from doing something nice for someone that they dislike.

Thank You!

Being thankful and saying thanks to others is good for our health and happiness, and helps build trust.

Normally, the act of saying thanks is observed as a two-person exchange, the person ...

The Witness To Gratitude

Studies show that people who witness the act of gratitude get affected positively towards the grateful person as well as the person who is being thanked (benefactor).

They see the grateful person as someone who is kind, and who notices when other people do kind things and takes the time to acknowledge them, making them socially desirable. People also warm up towards the person that is receiving the gratitude, as it is signaled as a person who is effective at being supportive or helpful.

Saying Thanks More Often

Expressing more gratitude works, and more so if done in a demonstrative way, with a hug or flowers.

A sincere thanks benefit our social connections in the entire group or circle.

Using The Benjamin Franklin Effect
  • Remember that the favor matters more than its scope. In most cases, the increase in rapport comes from the fact that the other person does you a favor.
  • Use reciprocity, by pe...
Facts Related To The Ben Franklin Effect
  • Research shows that being kind to someone increases how much you like that person.
  • Being asked a favor can make one feel acknowledged for their expertise, which can cause them to develop more positive feelings toward the person asking for help.
  • The negative Benjamin Franklin effect happens when people who do something negative to someone will increase the degree to which they dislike that person, in order to justify their negative actions to themselves.
The Benjamin Franklin Effect

A psychological phenomenon that causes people to like someone more after they do them a favor, especially if they dislike the helped person. 

You can use it to benefit and protect yourself when interacting with others.

Pick One Person to Ask

It’s best to ask one person instead of a group. Pick someone who you think can help you the most, or at least send individual requests to several people at once instead of dropping a li...

Make It Clear You Want Help

... be specific about what you want.

Don't use phrases like “Can you do me a favor? ", because they are manipulative - they force someone to commit before you tell them what it is you need. A simple “Can you help me with [specific thing]?” will do.

Give a Timeframe and an Escape

When you ask for help, give the person some kind of timeframe or soft deadline. Phrases like “whenever you can” put more pressure on the person who is already doing you a favor. 

It’s also nice to offer them a way out if you know they’re busy. It ensures your request for help doesn’t feel like a demand. 

2 more ideas

Asking For Help
Asking For Help

Not wanting to seem weak, needy, and incompetent or like we’re taking advantage often keeps us from asking for help, but that’s often an overblown fear caused by our tendency to think the worst....

Seeking Help Is Strength

By taking an active step in seeking help or advice, you’re actually taking control of your life, and not letting external circumstances (such as what people think) affect how you behave and perform. It is courageous to accept your weaknesses.

"Do what you love”...

...  is career advice that’s easy to give, but  hard to follow, because we can’t always accurately predict what kind of job we’ll love until we’re actually doing it. Or maybe ...

Questions to help you choose the right career
  • What can I do better than others? Think about what you're really good at, and how you could use the skills where you have an edge in order to get results.
  • What problems do I want to solve? This question is productive because it helps you identify your values and the issues you care about, without confining you to a narrow role.
  • How do I want to be known? What you do for a living often informs other people’s impressions of you—as well as your own self-image. For example, if you want people to think you’re a helpful, trustworthy, caring person, you might want to consider a job in a classic “helping” field, like being a kindergarten teacher.
Tips For Asking For Help
  • Don't frame your request.
  • Don't imply that you're above the other person.
  • Don't make your request too specific.
  • Say what you can't do, so the other can tell you what ...
How To Ask For Help

When we ask for help, we tend to unconsciously add unnecessary details that enhance our image, justify or even state a request instead. When asking for help, take the bass out of your voice, the stiffness out of your spine, and the captain out of your industry and just say, with sincerity and humility: "Can you help me?"

Few people, especially face-to-face, will ever say "no," even a stranger.