Flower App

Because Life Happens

How do I ask for help?

I don’t know if you’re as stubborn as I am, but when it comes to asking for help, I always assume that people are too busy and I should take care of my own problems. It’s easy to forget that family and friends often genuinely want to help. The problem is, they aren’t sure what to do. So they ask, “How can I help?” which throws the challenge right back to me.

In any tough situation, whether you’re caring for a parent, or helping out a friend, we all know someone who could use a little extra support. But it’s not always easy to know what to do, any more than it’s easy to ask for help.

But here are two important truths:

  1. Doing something nice for someone else feels good.
  2. If you tell them something specific, people are more likely to jump in and offer help.

Asking for help is hard but your family and friends might surprise you in their genuine interest in finding a way to make things a little easier. When we talked with friends and family members of cancer patients, they told us about wanting to help and feeling helpless to know what to do. Rather than creating a burden you might worry about, you’re actually helping THEM out by offering a list of things you need.

Flower includes a feature we call “I Could Use”. Take a step away from the immediate challenges and stress you’re facing and consider, what do I really need? Then start your list in Flower.

“I Could Use” gets you started with the basics. Do you need a ride to an appointment? Perhaps some help with meals? Sometimes a hug will do it, or there’s something specific you’re craving, like a massage. Create your “I Could Use” list and share it with the important people in your life. The people you count on when things aren’t quite what they should be.

We all need help sometimes. All we need to do is ask.

Kelly, S. (2015). Social support of cancer patients and their caregivers [Internal Company Document]. Dogpatch Technology, Inc., San Francisco, CA

About Shawna Kelly, PhD

Shawna is the Director of User Research for Dogpatch Technology. A former university professor in media theory and game studies, Shawna’s previous employment fields span software tech support, computer hardware, biomedical sciences, environmental science, theater stage management, and implementing technology in work and educational settings. She has a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication. View all posts by Shawna Kelly, PhD →

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