"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.

@vanessaw752

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Communication

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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.

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.

The motivation to be helpful is tied to your helper’s identity and self-esteem. People help because they want to be admired.

  • Other-praising (Acknowledging and validating the character or abilities of the giver.) “You go out of your way …” or  I feel like you’re really good at that.
  • Self-benefit (Describing how the receiver is better off for having been given help). “It let me relax.” or “It makes me happy.”

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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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IDEAS

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 apologizing makes the experience seem less positive.
  • Emphasizing reciprocity can make people feel indebted or like they are engaging in a purely transactional exchange.
  • Minimizing your need suggests the assistance is trivial or even unnecessary.
Don’t Apologize

When you ask for help, you may feel inclined to apologize for taking up their time and energy. Don’t. 

This is a bad idea because putting yourself down makes the other person feel less joy in helping you. Many of us apologize too much anyway.

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