Why Letting Others Help Can Actually Make You Happier

Have you ever noticed that when you help someone you feel really good? But when you ask for help for yourself you feel like you’ve failed?

Why is that?

Why are we happy to help others but reluctant to let them reciprocate?

I think it’s as simple as give and take.

In helping others we are giving. In accepting help we are taking.

We like to give. We are uncomfortable to take.

But...what if you changed your perspective?

What if, in accepting help, you were actually giving?

You are!

There are many ways in which you can benefit the person who is helping you! And benefits you can reap as well!

And here’s how:


You are giving others the chance to learn something new.

Keep this in mind when deciding what someone can help with. What are their strengths and how could they be put to good use with what you need done? Could they do something they haven’t before which expands their skillset or opens their eyes to work they haven’t experienced before? It can be a great way for newer or junior staff members to learn more about the organization or for you to assess their capabilities with additional responsibilities. A colleague might enjoy a change of pace from their everyday tasks and gain a greater understanding of the process.


You give yourself the opportunity to practice your instructional or coaching skills.

You’ll likely have to give direction for what has to be done so make good use of the chance to guide your helper and to clearly explain the task at hand. Steer clear of the excuse that it would take longer to explain than to do it yourself. In some cases it might be true...but in others is just an excuse not to accept help. Challenge yourself to find a way to make the information clear and concise.


You give yourself the chance to take on something new

If you can get help with the task that is taking so much of your time it could leave you open to work on that great new idea you’ve been hoping to implement. What if that new idea meant greater success with your work? Would your boss be more impressed that you took on something new rather than struggling to get the other work done? Expand your thinking beyond the troubling task at hand to the possibilities if you had help. That's a more positive and happier place to be.


You give everyone involved the joy of collaboration.

Most people have fun sharing the load and working together to accomplish what one person can’t. As the saying goes…many hands make light work. A few people together will typically have more fun working toward a common goal than one person slugging it out alone. Suddenly your burden feels a lot lighter and everyone has had fun in the process.


You are giving your helper you a chance to share new ideas.

It is not uncommon to have someone new to a task come up with a change in how it’s done…maybe faster or easier. Be open to to ideas. Give them direction on what needs to be done and encourage a different way of doing it. It’s a great opportunity for them to feel like they’ve made a contribution and for you to find a new way of doing things.


You are giving someone else the opportunity to feel good.

Remember those feelings of happiness and satisfaction and even gratitude when you were able to help someone? Let someone else experience those same joys when they help you. Suddenly you'll feel happier too.


So you see?

A purposeful change of perspective turns taking into giving which in turn changes accepting help into something very positive. For us and for those helping.

Give it a try.

What could you get help with today?


Post by Margaret Johnston,

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


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