On this week’s episode of Let’s Talk About…, Elise sits down with co-host Sarah Joseph to talk about asking for help.
Sarah is a certified emotional intelligence coach whose mission is to help you get comfortable with your emotions and master them to live a more purposeful life. She understands how our lack of emotional management can impact the longevity of our relationships and can inspire our emotional healing by plugging into our most powerful tool, the Mind. Her philosophy is that our emotions show up in every aspect of our lives and it’s your right to learn how to manage them effectively to your advantage.
On this week’s episode, Elise and Sarah talk about why we struggle to ask for help, how not asking for help affects our mental health, ways to get yourself to ask for help, and it’s okay when someone says “no”.
“The best way to prove to your mind and your emotions that you can do this and you can ask for help and lean on support and build this healthy dependence instead of hyper independence, is to do it even when you’re scared.” Sarah tells Elise on Let’s Talk About.
Check out the show’s full transcript.
[00:00:00] Elise: Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of Let’s Talk About This Week we are talking all about how we can ask for help in continuing our emotional intelligence series with emotional intelligence coach Sarah Joseph. Hi Sarah. Hi.
[00:00:18] Sarah: Hello, how are you today? I’m good. How are you? I’m good. I feel like I always say that I, you know, I’m excited for this topic because I am always excited for, well, I,
[00:00:28] Elise: so, yes, same, but I feel like we’ve.
Always, I mean, this is actually, uh, viewer question coming in, but why it was selected is because it is relatable. And I think at the end of the day, we’re picking topics that, um, every, like our needs in our own lives, maybe, well, at least for me, just maybe you have it more, but so they’re all relatable, right?
And they’re all, you know, I think when we first said let’s do a series on emotional intelligence, I guess in my mind I’m like, okay, there’ll be like, You know, a span to this, like it could probably be for a few months. But the reality is there are so many conversations to be had within this like topic, if you will, of emotional intelligence.
It’s basically learning how to like, you know, How to clearly go through a situation or how to kind of keep your emotions and checks in the situation. So I do agree this is a good topic. Um, and I will read our viewer’s question and then we probably both very much can relate to it. We’ll kind of go through some steps.
So if you’re ready to. Buckle up and go, then I’ll, I’ll,
[00:01:37] Sarah: let’s do it.
[00:01:38] Elise: Get on the road. Hi, Elise and Sarah Love the podcast. I wanted to write you because I think I, I think I’m struggling. I like that she said, I think, I hope you can offer some helpful advice. I do this thing where I take on a bunch of tasks all at once and I burn out really fast.
I’ve always been very independent and others really admire me for always getting things done and getting them done right. But if I’m being honest, I’m exhausted, and because I’m so exhausted, I forget to make time for myself. For some context. I’m married with two children, have a full-time job and starting a business.
Wow, okay. That is a lot, which I’m also struggling to get off the ground because of how exhausted I am. Any advice? Thanks, Melanie. Melanie does have a lot going on.
[00:02:20] Sarah: She does. She does. And good for you for managing all of that and trying to juggle that, but good for you for noticing that you’re exhausted.
[00:02:29] Elise: it’s, it’s interesting because part of what she said in here, I’ve always been a very independent. I’ve always been very independent and others admire me for getting things done and getting them done right. I feel like I’ve created that in myself and I’m sure so many of us have, cuz it’s like, You, you become the planner and then you’re just always the planner.
And it’s also interesting because, and I think a lot of, I think a lot of women are the planners, um, but I also think it’s interesting. I was just watching these TikTok actually, that was about in your job, Why not? Instead of being the person, it was kind of supposed to be humorous. Instead of being the person that gives like a high performer that gives 150% all the time, you get paid as much as the person next to you who’s maybe giving 50%.
So I just thought that was kind of funny cuz it’s, yeah, this TikTok talks all talked all about like how then you get more projects given to you cuz people know you’ll get done. You get the more complex projects, like basically when you become the person that everyone thinks can do it all because you have done it all.
You just kind of end up, honestly, sometimes you feel like you’re getting shit on a little bit, right? Like you’re getting everything put on you because people know you can handle it. Um, and I think, I don’t know the exact saying, but that saying of, um, Just because I can handle like just because it looks like I can handle it doesn’t necessarily like, just cuz I’m looking the part doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not like breaking down.
Right. I feel like that maybe seems a little bit like what Melanie’s dealing with right now.
[00:03:59] Sarah: Yeah, for sure. And it sounds like she has a lot going on and just like in general, I know what you mean by being the person that takes on all the plans or the person that, um, You know, is always tasked with doing the most because they’re the most trusted to do the work and get it done right.
Right? Mm-hmm. And then we kind of build this persona that, you know, that. I’m, I am capable of doing any and everything, right? Mm-hmm. And, but that does get exhausting, right? Like she said, it can become very emotionally draining, right? To take all of that on, and at the same time try to maintain your own work-life balance and then try to maintain the balance of other people, and it becomes very, very overwhelming, very fast.
So. I can understand the building that persona up, and it kinda stems from the ego a little bit as well. Right? Being that person that can take it on, your ego gets a little inflated and it goes, well, I don’t need anybody. I don’t need any help. I can do it my way. Right. And my way is the correct way. Right.
And then that’s where we stop growing. That’s where we stopped learning and we stopped. Evolving. Right. We stopped taking on new ideas and you pass and my cat is here to say hello. Hi.
[00:05:07] Elise: I know I saw them in the background there. Yeah.
[00:05:11] Sarah: But yeah, make sure my dog doesn’t see
[00:05:12] Elise: that. I completely agree with you.
So I think it’s, it’s obvious. I mean, Melanie’s reaching out cause she is asking for help. But why? Don’t we ask for help? Like typically we won’t, you know, ask someone to, and actually this happened last night. I feel like, like I’m, I won’t order in dinner. Like I’d rather just try to take it on and make it, I do order in often, but like, you know what I mean?
Like certain situations you’re like, Nope, I got this, I got this. So why don’t we, it’s the ego.
[00:05:40] Sarah: Well, that’s part of it, right? But I think it’s, it’s a little deeper than that than just the ego. I think the ego comes up a little later, but Okay. I think if you think about just your life and growing up as a child, right?
Like were you expected, were you raised as a child that had to take on a lot of things, right? Were you the caregiver of the home at one point? Were you the eldest child? Right? I know if you look at like birth order, for example, I know the eldest child takes on way more in. Independence and needing to be, you know, that caregiver and provider for the younger siblings.
Right. So just looking at your birth order and noticing where maybe you had to step up to the plate Right. And be, you know, that father figure, that mother figure, or even just a figure in general to those younger than you, you had to maintain that certain level of independence and knowing what to do and how to do, and always having all the answers.
Mm-hmm. And doing it all on your own. I think a lot of us were raised to be very hyper independent and when we get older, That same, you know, trajectory or that pattern stays in our lives and we continue to use it even in our adult life. And while it may have served us in the past, in this present moment, it’s not serving while, in Melanie’s case, it’s not serving her right.
At this point, she’s so drained, right at this point. She’s so exhausted at this point. She can’t even make time for, you know, her business the way that she wants to, right? She’s managing two kids plus a marriage and a full-time job. This pattern is no longer serving her. So learning how to develop that over time will definitely grow.
But I had a few, you know, reasons why we might not wanna ask for help. And the first one is fear of rejection, right? So maybe there, there’s a fear that. You ask for help and someone says no, they turn you down. Right? And what that might even further mean, we kind of take that personally, right? Another one is fear of disappointment, right?
You’re afraid that if you hand this task over to someone else, they won’t deliver to your expectations, right? They won’t do it the way that you do it, or they won’t do it the way that you want it done, and it’s just better that you take the load on and do it yourself, right? Then there’s that fear of.
Surrendering control of the situation to someone else, right? So that could mean that you’re giving away ownership of the task, um, to someone else, and that could make you feel a little uncomfortable or uneasy, right? So you no longer have control of how it gets done, when it gets done. How it will turn out, for example.
And that makes you a little uneasy, right? So that control and needing the control is something that you prefer. And if that makes you feel safer, you’ll most likely go out to do it all on your own. Um, there’s like even embarrassment, so feeling embarrassed to ask for help. I know I struggled with that, you know, growing up as well.
So you might be afraid that you might be really ridiculed or humiliated as a result of asking for help or just not knowing how to do something on your own, right? There’s a difference between. Having done something and just delegating a task to never knowing how to do something, and then asking someone for help to teach you, to learn to grow, and that in and of itself could be a little bit embarrassing, right.
And maybe you’re afraid to be a burden to someone, right? So maybe you’re feeling a little guilty that you’re imposing on someone’s time and energy, right? And you just don’t wanna be a burden. You don’t want to, you know, place your task onto someone else. You just don’t wanna delegate. And that could make you feel a little uneasy as well.
So those are just a few, you know, areas. So these might not all apply, but some of them right?
[00:09:07] Elise: Sounds like very centered around like control, guilt. And fear. And fear, yeah.
[00:09:13] Sarah: Interesting. A lot of fear.
[00:09:15] Elise: Yeah. Yeah. So why, why is it important then that we learn? I’d imagine for our mental health, it’s important that we learn to ask for help because, and that was the first
[00:09:25] Sarah: one on the list?
[00:09:26] Elise: Yeah. Okay. Check one for me. So yeah, I’d imagine that’s, that’s up there. What else? What other reasoning? So maybe that’s someone that needs to come over some of those boundaries of why, what are some, some positives of why we should learn? Yeah.
[00:09:42] Sarah: So the first one, you hit the nail on the head there with health.
Right? So it’s, it’s very clear to see that because Melanie’s taking on, at least from her scenario, she’s, you know, juggling her marriage plus her kids, plus her full-time job running a business like she’s doing a lot. Mm-hmm. Right? And taking care of her household, probably taking care of, you know, everything going on at home and in her personal life that could easily gain.
Lead you to being burned out, stressed out, and easily exhausted, like in the future. And what’s important to recognize is that that burnout could even lead to things like anxiety, depression, right? And it could get very severe, right? So recognizing why you should ask for help is that your health will increase with it, right?
So that your happiness will come with it. Uh, your confidence will come with it. Uh, another one is boosting happiness. It’s also gonna help to improve your connection with others. So asking for help. So when you’re asking for help, you’re putting your trust in someone else, right? You’re putting your confidence in someone else, and that at first might be a little shaky, but if you learn how to do it right, right?
And develop that skill over time, asking for help can definitely be a skill that you learn over time. It increases your vulnerability with someone else, increases the bond and connection that you have with someone else, and it therefore, Helps you recognize that this is someone you can lean on for support in the future?
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Those are just a few.
[00:11:04] Elise: I could see it strengthening the bond because at the I, well, we all wanna feel like needed too. Right? So if you are asking someone else to help you with something, I feel like that gives that other person like a feeling of connected to you, right? Yeah. Like, Oh, I can help you like that.
That must release some sort of like feel good mechanism and the other person as well.
[00:11:27] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. That feeling of being wanted and accepted. Yeah. And needed is also really important for a relationship.
[00:11:34] Elise: Right? I was gonna say, yeah. And maybe like probably all relationships, but I could see that being really important and like, uh, um.
Marriage. Mm-hmm. Um, right. Like the other person doesn’t feel needed or, you know. Yeah. So I could see how that would be interesting. Okay. Yeah.
[00:11:51] Sarah: Another one that’s really, really interesting is that it increases productivity, right? So if you look at all the big businesses, right? If we can tie asking for help in businesses, businesses are always asking for help.
Okay? They have, you know, a bunch of employees working for them, right? So they’re receiving help and delegating tasks to so many different departments of people. Mm-hmm. I know my, when I was, when I’m, as I’m working with Sun Life right now, they have over 40 plus 40, 40,000 plus people working for them.
Right. And that’s all delegating tasks, getting things done for the greater good of this entire, you know, this end goal. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So that’s them asking for help by employing people. The other part of that is, um, businesses also have stakeholders, shareholders, and they also have. Investments people that, you know, bring money to the table and that’s them off asking for help, right?
So businesses are never shy to ask for help, and that’s because they’ve learned how to master asking for help and doing it in the right ways that benefit their company. And in the end result, they’re making loads and loads of money, right? And they’re building massive partnerships with other companies and they’re really leaning on the support of other people.
And if you think about just. Politics in the world in general, without trying to get too technical here, right? Mm-hmm. If you look at all of the, all of the countries we’re aligned with other countries asking for help all the time. Our oil, yeah. Food, water supply, right? So we’re always trading with other companies and.
Why do we do that? Because the bond is there, right? There’s a connection there, and we’re able to maintain asking for help in a way that’s not only giving, but also receiving. Right? So we’re grateful for that, those ties and tho that benefit in that way. So asking for help is really, really important because we’re all surviving because of it.
[00:13:36] Elise: I love that you brought in like the countries, and I never even thought of that actually. Yeah. Yeah. Like we all need support, right? Even at that level. So I think you’ve. You’ve convinced me. Why do we all need help? I mean, I, I would’ve, would’ve had an idea of that. But yes, definitely drove that point home.
So we know, you know, we know we need it now. So how do we start asking for it? Like what are the steps that can help us kind of get the help that
[00:14:03] Sarah: Right? So I’ve broken it down into quite a few steps, and if I don’t get through all of them, that’s okay. I’ll just kind of quickly list them off. But what I’ve noticed is, When it comes to asking for help, there’s a strategic way in doing it and going about it, especially if you are someone who’s come from a place where asking for help is not something that you were taught or learned, right?
So now I’m gonna take you through the steps, and these are things that you can consider when you are asking for help, and it’s dramatically going to help improve the way that you do ask for help and how you think about asking for help and what it means to you, right? So the first part is to identify your wound.
So identify the triggers. When it, when it comes up for you to to ask for help. So when you’re about to ask for help and you noticed. You notice something coming up for you. Maybe it’s a thought, maybe it’s an emotion. Maybe you notice you’re shutting down the moment you realize, Hey, I need, I need some help here.
Right? Notice what pushback you get from your own mind, right? And that is gonna be key in understanding, uh, what you truly feel when it comes to asking for help and why you can’t. So I know for me, for a long time before healing and before learning how to effectively ask for help and still struggling to this day, right?
Um, What comes up for me a lot is you can just do it yourself. You need to do it yourself because. Everyone is gonna look down at you, right? That’s like the immediate thought that comes up for me, or the embarrassment thought comes up for me. What if people, like, what if I get, what if I feel humiliated?
Because other people, you know, laugh at me for not knowing how to do that right? Or not knowing what I’m doing right? So that it was the immediate thing that came up for me. So something I encourage Melanie to do is when you’re thinking about whether or not you should ask for help or considering it, make a list of all the reasons why you feel you shouldn’t.
Right. Get to know this part of yourself, right? Get to know those thoughts that are coming up so that you can, you know, take advantage of it later. Uh, the other part is give yourself permission to lean on others for support. So permission is a big one. So as much as we might know that we need to ask for help, we don’t do it because we tell ourselves no.
Right? And sometimes we just don’t notice. That, um, we can make our own rules and we can decide for ourselves. And asking for help can be a part of our own rules, even though we were never taught. So going into reframe, going into give yourself permission to lean on others is really big. The next part is you want to consider, uh, who the best person is for the task.
So a lot of us see asking for help as a negative, but maybe you can change the narrative to delegating a task, right? So when we’re thinking about delegating the chores, maybe we’re thinking about delegating the finances. Maybe we’re thinking about. Delegating, you know, getting the calendar going or an ad administrative task.
Mm-hmm. Where can you delegate that? Right. And consider the best person to do that. Right. Maybe it’s not the friend that typically doesn’t do, you know, sorry, not the friend, but maybe it’s not the spouse that typically doesn’t do the dishes, but maybe it’s your child that loves chewing dishes. Right. And they love being, I love a friend whose daughter
[00:17:10] Elise: loves to help.
[00:17:11] Sarah: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So finding the person that you can best trust to get the task done is instead of just asking anyone, right? So be selective in who you ask, because if you do want this done the way that you know you hope, then I would imagine that you would ask someone that you trust, right? You’d ask someone that you can or learn to build trust in, right?
Then you wanna consider the best time to ask this person, right? So, um, Ask even in the face of discomfort, right? So there might be a lot of guilt, shame, and embarrassment, and a whole lot of fear and anxiety that might come up when you’re about to ask for help. But the key here is to do it anyways, right?
The best way to prove to your mind and your emotions that you can do this and you can ask for help and lean on support and build this healthy dependence instead of hyper independence, is to do it even when you’re scared. Right. So if you can’t beat the fear, that’s okay. Do it scared, right? So knowing the best time when to ask could be maybe not right when your spouse comes home from work, but maybe after he, you know, relaxes and he, you know, has a minute to calm down and catch his breath and maybe have something to eat, and then maybe you can ask right?
Or maybe learning the best time for you to ask. So maybe it might not be the best time when you’re feeling guilty and embarrassed and you know frustrated about it. Maybe the best time is for when you calm down in a few hours or in an hour or 30 minutes to collect your thoughts and go, okay, now I’m ready.
Mm-hmm. Right. So when we’re triggered by asking, it might not be the best time to ask, but having some time to sit on it might help. Right. The other one that I found really interesting, and if this really helped me, was using assertive communication, and there’s a few types of communication that you can learn when it comes to asking for help.
There’s aggressive communication, which is, you know, harsh and controlling and manipulative, right? Then there’s passive communication, which is indirect. It’s not clear on instruction, and it’s maybe timid in a way. And then there is assertive communication. So that’s where you express your needs directly, but you also care about the way that you convey it in order to maintain the respect in the relationship.
Right. So the instructions are clear, and you can do this by saying things like, can you help me out by dot, dot, dot, right? I was wondering if you could do me a favor and dot, dot, dot. Right. So be as clear as possible and ask for what you need. Right. It’s really important to focus on you and what it is you need.
The last one, which you know, also a very big game changer is to make room for No, right.
[00:19:49] Elise: I was just gonna say, is there some people who over ask for help? And so, yeah. Okay. And so I could see, right, like there might be people that on the opposite side you have to say no to. So anyway, I’ll let you finish your thought, but I, yeah, yeah.
[00:20:04] Sarah: Um, so yeah. Make room for No. So the hardest thing to hear is that painful word no. Right. And it’s so upsetting because we tend to make it personal, right? We tend to make it mean that maybe this person’s mad at me, maybe, you know, they won’t help me because of. So, you know, something I did in the past, maybe they won’t help me because, you know, they just don’t wanna help me.
Right? Maybe we, we take it really personal and we make it about us, right? So, although no can be really painful, it’s also an opportunity to gain insight into, you know, what you need. And to think about alternatives for getting what you need and getting those needs met. So you might have to be a little flexible and pivot, you know, to a different resource or to a different source of help or find more of a creative solution to, of meeting your needs on your own or with someone else, right?
So, It’s definitely an area where you can, where you can develop your growth, understand a challenge, get used to, you know, taking on challenges on your own, but then also understanding that no does not mean no to you. It just means no to the task. Mm-hmm. Right. So the other part of getting comfortable with no is understanding that this could just be, um, Their inability to take on the capacity of the work that you need done.
Right. And if they care about you, they might want it to deliver to, you know, the best expectation possible. So they’re actually doing you a favor when they say no. Right? When they’re saying no, they’re probably saying, I just can’t take this on right now. Yes. Um, because I wanna do my best job. It might be best if you ask someone else.
[00:21:36] Elise: And especially if you’re the person whose fear of asking for help with that, they wouldn’t do a good job. Exactly. And you’re afraid
[00:21:44] Sarah: be disappointed. Right? So now we’re dealing with the frustration of hearing No, but then still the, you know, the abandonment of not feeling like you’re cared for because they didn’t deliver to the expectations.
Right. So there’s, there’s so many things there, but getting comfortable with no is gonna be really, really important when you are asking for help because, Everyone has a choice. Everyone has free will, but most of the time, nine times outta 10, when someone is saying no, it’s not because of you. It’s because they just can’t take on the capacity.
Yeah, yeah. Right. Or they’re probably unsure of how to help you.
[00:22:16] Elise: That makes total sense. Yeah. Well, I feel like we’re going into the day now, ready to maybe look at our things to do this week and see where we could delegate and ask for help. So what a great way to start the day off anyway.
[00:22:29] Sarah: Yeah. And Melanie, I hope that helped and I hope that, you know, leaning on support and asking for help is something that you know can be learned over time.
Right. And give yourself space if it’s uncomfortable right now. Right. Learn that it’s something that you know you need to learn, and it’s something that. You can learn over time. It doesn’t have to happen overnight. Right? And take your time with it and give yourself space with it, right? Because if you’re someone that came from a past where asking for help was not something that you could do, asking for help now is gonna be a little challenging, but be up for the challenge.
Yeah, I love that. Well, where
[00:23:02] Elise: can everyone find you, Sarah?
[00:23:04] Sarah: They can find me on my website at sarahjosephcertifiedcoaching.com. You can find me on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Awesome.
[00:23:11] Elise: Well, thank you so much and we’ll see you next week.
[00:23:14] Sarah: Thank you. See you then.
Last modified: May 5, 2023