Summary of Chapter 3: Ask for Help

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Creating a Personal Safety Net can provide emotional protection from life's endless disruptions. In order to have one, you need to ask people to first participate in your team and next, ask for their help when disruptions occur. Because asking for help is difficult for many, we’ve dedicated an entire chapter to how to ask for help.

In chapter 3 of our book we address creating a network or care share team. At somepoint this will require you to ask for help. In a world of self-reliance, this is not easy for many.

But how does one ask? The answer is - there is NO ONE WAY that's right for everyone! Some, with the courage and know how, simply get on the phone and make the "ASK." Others use a variety of methods: Sarah invited her five best friends for a potluck dinner at her home so she wouldn't back down before making her ask; Ted, knowing his friend, Warren, felt overwhelmed, took matters into his own hands and drafted an email to all of Warren's friends; Sue helped her friend Tom by organizing a face-to-face meeting with Tom's friends; Mary and Sid reached out to their larger community by sending a letter to their entire church congregation.

It may not be easy to ask for help, but learning how to ask for, accept, decline, modify or offer support is an essential life skill. Practicing will help. Start with relatively simple and small requests. This is a powerful step toward increasing your comfort with asking. Asking for help is risky, but many of the best things in life come when we reach out and take some risks. Managing emotions when we hear a ‘no’ is also addressed in this chapter.