Three Questions for Awkward Situations: Question 1

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Question #1 – “Would you help me?”

Feeling Tongue-Tied

I’ve often felt “tongue tied.” I’ve been caught off-guard in situations where I didn’t know what to say or do. Whether lost in a city, confused by a project or trying to move a heavy couch alone, I’ve struggled with for help.

Worse yet, is wondering what people think of me when I am lost and struggling? I feel incompetent, helplessness, and embarrassed, but are they seeing me as a weak and inept? Or might they want to offer mercy and help me? In the distress and awkwardness of the moment, I do not know the answer. Instead, in the past, I would drive in circles or struggle alone.

Three Humble Questions to Ask for Help

The following three questions have been helpful to others and to me when I’m feeling lost or struggling with something. Perhaps they will help you, too. Let me offer my first question here, and then provide the others questions in later writings.

Questions #1: Would you help me?

“Would you help me?”

These four soft and almost child-like words can be very empowering and help open a helpful door with others.

Humble words – First of all, the words “Would you help me?” must come from a speaker who must recognize that help is needed. To admit that one lacks information, directions, or perspective is humbling. Why spend time and embarrassment trying to figure something out alone when someone close by may offer a quick solution to the problem and helpful encouragement?

Optional wording – Notice the phrase, “Would you help me?” is in the form of a question, not a demand. The words invite a person to hear and recognize another with a need. This question respects the agenda and boundaries of that person, and gives them the optional and opportunity, if time permits, – to be helpful, even a hero.

Mutually affirming words – And finally, as a result of these simple words the relationship is rewarded in a win/win way. Not only can the speaker and responder feel good about finding that moment helpful, it allows each to trust and be encouraged in the future as a tone of kindness and respect is set and might be needed again.

Try using these words for yourself: “Would you help me?”

I hope this phrase is empowering and helpful to you. Of course there is a risk in asking this question and the person responds “No.” In those few cases, just respect the fact that the person is saying “no” to the moment and not to you the person. Either feel okay with asking that person for help at another time or ask someone else. You humbly offered your heart and request, and the quiet tone you leave with may set the stage for a different response later.

Check back for the Second Question and the Third Question for navigating awkward moments in life.

Call or email me, Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789) for help with your relationships and relationship problems. I am a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in in Eden Prairie and nearby Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minneapolis and other Western Suburbs.

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