Have you ever asked for support from someone and it backfired? For example, you ask your significant other to support you in your weight loss efforts and the next time you have a piece of sourdough bread he shakes his head and says “I thought you wanted to lose weight?!”
It’s those times we wish we’d just kept to ourselves!
But change is hard and we need the support of each other to be our best. Keeping to ourselves and trying to do it all on our own is not only lonely, but a losing strategy.
There’s a better way! Apply these five strategies to ask for – and get – the support you need to make the changes you want:
- Determine the need: Clarify your needs and get specific. To ask someone for support you must clearly articulate what it is that you need from them.
- Fit the need to the person: Whether you need emotional support, advice, reminders, etc., who’s the best fit in your circle? If you mismatch, like asking someone for emotional support who is really great at giving advice, it might blow up on you.
- Own your need: Getting our needs met is our responsibility and we cannot expect others to change their ways to suit us. For example, not wanting to eat ice cream every evening may be your goal, not your family’s or roommate’s. You can ask someone to not offer it to you, or if they don’t mind, when possible, to eat it when you’re not in the same room. But it’s unreasonable to ask someone to stop eating ice cream, too.
- Be flexible: If you ask your partner to help by taking the kids to school each morning so you can go to the gym, you may get a counter offer of two days. Or something different. Be okay if your partner comes back with another solution and work through it together.
- ASK!: It’s unrealistic to expect others to intuit what we need, no matter how close the relationship. No one is a mind reader.
That’s it! Five strategies to help you get support to be your best. And don’t be afraid to ask for it. Think about when a good friend or family member asks you for support – you’re probably happy to do it, if possible. Expect they will feel the same.
What support do you need? Are you ready to ask for it?