How to ask for help


Just listened to this podcast of a ted talk by Heidi Grant where she talked about 4 ways to ask for help. Got some great insights which I thought would be nice to share and helpful for others.

1- Be very specific with what you need help with. This makes it clear for your helper with regard to what exactly you need help with.

*Example: I would like your advice on getting into medical school.

2- Avoid disclaimers/apologies/bribes. This makes your helper feel uncomfortable. Furthermore adding incentives in return of help makes it more like a transaction when reaching out to a friend or coworker for help.

*Example: I am sorry I have to ask you this or I hate bothering you but I need your help.

3- DO NOT ask for help over email or text. You probably think it is less awkward to ask for help over these mediums but guess what is even less awkward? Saying NO on email or text.

*Example: Some people even go to the extent of emailing a group of 10 people asking if ONE of them could help.

4- Follow up with the person who agrees to help you.

If I have no idea how my help facilitated you in getting what you wanted, how would I feel about it with regard to the time and effort spent in helping you.

*Example: This is why donor appeals are so effective. You get letters and pictures from the person or organization you helped which further encourages you to help others. Other ways to follow up include- Your advice helped me getting that big sale or your support really helped me during my dark times.


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  • Hey hey hey you!!! I love to watch on youtube ted talks, there are 4 ways, but i barely ask someone to help, i feel shy and scared to hear no i cant help you, sorry. Ofc is huge help, i’m glad you shared it, being clear is very important, other wise we may dont get the exact help we need. Great example. But i would like to get your advice about time, is difficult to be specific about this one, but i will try. I have a lot of things to do in the day and even if i cut time from some activities its still not enough, do you have any idea how shall manage with time? I’m not sure if i asked clear enough, please let me know❤️
    Second one, its totally me, i always starting by i dont want to bother you, i can recognise easily, i guess the best what i can do is to work on it.
    3. But what if i want to ask the advice or help of specific person and this person is very far away and we WILL see each other in like 5 month? About the group, totally agree.
    To be thankful is very important, because these days, is difficult to get help from others. Goodnight, i hope, that you will answer soon hugs?

    • Let’s answer your questions one by one:
      1- How to manage time? We all have 24 hours in a day, correct? All 7 billion of us? Then how do some of us do more work in a day? It is because they commit and prioritize. They follow a routine and stick to it. This involves sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday. Working out at the same time. Eating at the same time and so on…see once you prioritize it is easy to say NO to things that are not a priority, leaving you with more time with things that are important.

      2- next time consciously avoid these. Infact maintain a notebook? Everytime you see yourself apologizing make a note out of it. Or a sticky, whatever works 🙂

      3- Go ahead and ask for advice/help anyway. If this other person can assist he will, if not he will say no. Remember about priority? That’s it 🙂

      I hope that answers all. Goodnight. Hugs?