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Making it easier to ask for help

Asking for help; if this phrase causes your breath to catch, your heart to race, or your stomach to drop, you are in the right place. So many of us have received the message somewhere along the way that it is somehow more desirable or more honorable to be the person who gives support, rather than the one to receive the assistance.

As we journey through life, we quickly encounter all sorts of situations that require us to ask for help. Broken pipes, broken bones, and broken hearts are just a few situations that often leave us stressed, panicky, in pain, and scrambling for solutions: looking for the next actions, answers, and comfort.

As helpers, we often feel positive. Helping someone else gives us a sense of contribution and meaning in a chaotic world. It bonds us, sometimes briefly, sometimes more deeply, to the individual or group we are helping. It only makes sense that we will all eventually take turns being both the giver of support and the one who receives it.

Think of the last person who helped you; even if it was uncomfortable to seek that help. We might think of a nurse or doctor, a clerk at a store, a counselor, a bank teller, a pilot, a teacher, or a friend or family member. No matter who it was and how helpful and accomplished they were, I guarantee you; that person needs and seeks some type of help or support sometimes too.

So, let’s normalize asking for help and make it a positive, joyful exchange that bonds hearts together instead of a contest of who needs or gives the most. When we provide support, let’s provide it with joy and dignity; affirming for the other person that we all need assistance at some point.

When it’s our turn to ask and receive support, let’s bravely ask for the help that we need; multiple times if necessary, and accept that help with joy and the understanding that providing and leaning on support happens in a circle; not on a scorecard.

Looking to build your circle of support? Visit to learn about our Clinical Mental Health and Chemical Dependency services, in South Dakota, listen to the Counselors & Coffee podcast on Apple and Spotify, and check out our other offerings designed to support you on your journey!

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