Asking for help

May 31, 2011

Photo on 2011-05-31 at 20.18 #2The phrase I find myself saying most often when at a conference or networking event is, “Let me know what I can do to help you out.”

I was thinking about that today. And about how often I say it compared to…compared to…well, we’ll get to that in a minute.

My offers are sincere. When meeting someone new or catching up with an old friend, they are inevitably up to something exciting. Launching a new project, applying for a new job, supporting a new goal, all sorts of things. And after learning about whatever New they are working on, offering to help and support them as they work towards that goal seems pretty natural. It just kinda flows on out.

So, I do it all the time.


But. But but but. Pay attention, this is big. This is a biiiig but.

You have to be ready.

And you might know where I’m going with this.

Are you ready?
You sure?

Ok, here is the but:

No one ever takes me up on it.

No one ever takes me up on it!

Well, I don’t want to say ever. But rarely. Practically never ever. Once in a blue moon.

And let me just state here for the record, or for the Universe, or for God, or for whomever, that if every, single person I met and offered to help actually took me up on their offer AND expected more than a minute or two I would…I would…I would might maybe just die. My Gmail calendar would explode and it would hurt and there would be tears and I would die. The end.

However. However! No one takes me up on it. Not a one. And I don’t think it’s a personal thing, as even though I never wear anything other than my beloved blazer at an event, I’m pretty sure my clothes don’t stink more than the next gal’s do and last I checked I’m not too scary and I don’t bite too much anymore, so that can’t be it.

(“I never wear anything other than my beloved blazer”
Hmm, I don’t think that came out right. I never wear anything? As in, I wear nothing? Except my blazer?)

(Only on the weekends.)

If it’s not personal, I reason, then it must happen to everybody.

Very, very, very few folks actually send me a note or give me a call and take me up on my offer to spend a minute or two supporting their efforts. Yup, a minute or two. We’re not talking about a massive commitment here, just a helping hand.

I may be supportive, but I’m not insane. :)

As I was thinking about this today, I turned the tables on myself, on my own thought. How often had I reached out to others for help? Especially to those that had offered? Once, twice, maybe three times?


Why do we do this?

Why do we have the natural tendancy to NOT ask for help? To try and do it all on our own? All by ourselves?

Why, when someone offers to help, do we rarely, if ever, take them up on their offer?

I don’t know what it is. But I think we should get over ourselves. Don’t you?

Maybe it happens more than I realize, it just hasn’t infiltrated my world.
Who knows.

We’re not talking about major stuff here, we’re talking little things. Little bitty things. A short-and-sweet question. A respectful request for promotion. A small trade. A couple minutes of someone’s time.

We’re all in this together and, from what I’ve experienced, more of you are supportive and willing to help out than…not.

The community wants to help! You just have to go out there and ask for it.

We just have to go out there and ask for it.


P.S. That photo up above? It was an attempt at making a question mark with my hands. And it worked! Sort of.



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