Everyone needs support to manage life's challenges. Your A-team (e.g., friends, family, romantic partner etc.) can help you remind you of your strengths and join forces with you to fight the battles that come your way. In other words, “they have your back”.
Who are the people that have been the sources of strength and support along the way?
Who would be most helpful for the current challenges you are facing?
Relationships that are good for you will support you, not tear you down, especially at times when you are struggling to reach your goals or when you’re not feeling so great about yourself.
A few important points to remember…
Sometimes getting the support you need can be challenging. In some cases, you might hesitate to ask for support. Perhaps you aren’t sure who to turn to for support. And sometimes, even when you are willing to ask for support and have people to turn to, the support doesn’t turn out to be what you had hoped for. Check out articles on this page where we address each of these challenges and provide some tips as to how to best tackle them.
Why do people hesitate to tell others about their stressors and challenges?
- I don’t want to be “needy”. Many people are taught that they should just be able to handle things on their own and that asking for help means that they are weak, incompetent, or “needy”. Remember, we all have needs and sometimes others’ support is necessary to get through life’s challenges.
- I don't want to be a burden. Oftentimes people worry that asking for help will just burden others and make them feel overwhelmed. Before you assume this, why not ask? Let others decide whether or not they have the resources and desire to help you. They may surprise you.
- I need to keep things private. Some people are taught that their private life is meant to be private—no one should know what is really going on behind the scenes no matter how awful it might get. Consider this: how well is it working to keep everything contained? For many people, having to keep things contained can further add to their distress. Remember, you can be selective about who you turn to. Choosing others who you trust to care for you is important.
- I am embarrassed about what is going on and am worried about what others might think. People worry that others will judge them (e.g., if others know about what is going on they will think badly of me). Those who really care about you will not judge you but will try to understand and be helpful.
- I expect that I am going to get negative reactions from others. People are sometimes quite hesitant to tell others what they need or how they feel because they worry, perhaps, that others won’t respond with care even when they express their needs and feelings. Certainly, others don’t always respond in the way you hoped they would or in the way you need them to. Consider a few things. Are you choosing the right person to get support? Is the person in a bad place themselves and do not have the resources to be helpful as they might be at other times (remember, their bucket might also be full or overflowing)? Could you improve on your approach to asking for some support?