April 14, 2021

Asking For Big Help (And The Best Ways To Give It)

Why is it so hard to ask for big help, especially when we’re usually grateful to be able to assist a friend in need? How can we become “askable friends” and better helpers? How can we prepare for the big help times in our own lives before they arrive?

We’ve all been in moments when we have to make a Big Ask. As in: it’s 2 a.m. The baby is throwing up and spiking a high fever. Your partner is out of town. Your other kid is asleep upstairs. Who are you going to call in the middle of the night? Making that ask is never easy.

But why? Why is it so hard to ask for big help, especially when we’re usually grateful to be able to assist a friend in need? Anyone who’s been a parent long enough has been on both the giving and receiving side of that Big Help ask. And when we’re on the receiving end of that kind of request, from a friend we know is struggling, we’re usually really happy– even grateful– to be able to help. 

So how can we become “askable friends” and better helpers?

And how can we prepare for the big help times in our own lives before they arrive? 

In this episode, we discuss

  • the reasons why asking for help can be so hard, especially for mothers
  • when asking for big help is “justified” (and making asking for small help okay)
  • acute needs vs. chronic needs
  • how to really help a struggling friend, rather than saying “let me know if you need anything”
  • some useful ways to help a friend grieving a loss
  • and how we can make that short list of friends, and offer to BE on that short list of friends, before the time comes.

In the end, asking for big help is about showing up for ourselves. Here’s how our listener Jennifer put it: 

“I can ask for help, even if I can technically handle it, but I just want, or need a break. I don't need to drive myself to the edge of the cliff before I ask.”

Here are links to some of the writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode: 

Mayday: Asking For Help In Times Of Need, by Nora Bouchard

lotsahelpinghands.com (@lotsahelpinghands on Twitter)

Enjoli fragrance commercial

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