Do you view asking for help as a sign of weakness or wimpishness? What is stopping you? Is it ego, pride, or fear of being judged? If you let your head get too big, you may break your neck. If you’ve already given it the ole college try, do you still shy away from asking anyone for advice?

Trust me, others can be of benefit and very valuable to you at times. Guess what? Some people will actually take joy in helping you. Most of us want to know that we matter. No one on earth made it or became successful in a vacuum. Speaking of which, picking up this tiny piece of paper would take two seconds, but instead you’re going to run over it 100 times with your vacuum at different angles. Talk about cleaning, wouldn’t you also rather buy a brand-new Tupperware rather than open this one to clean out whatever this used to be? I get it.

But truly, whether we know it or not, we all depend on one another. Society overemphasizes independence and self-reliance, which may convince you that you need to go it alone. You do not. Of course, you want to be strong and capable. More power to you. But we all need support or a shot in the arm once in a while.

Your loved ones may want to be of assistance but may not know what kind of helping hand you need. Please do not drop hints either. Be direct. Be specific when you reach out to him. Not quite sure how to ask? Simply say: “Can you please help me?” I think I may need professional help: A chef, a butler, and a maid should do it.

“Message read and ignored successfully.” Ouch. The truth is that we are more digitally connected, yet more emotionally detached from each other, than ever before in history. Can we still relate as humans? Are you hesitant to ask for a hand because you fear rejection or perhaps even being laughed at or judged? Sometimes we simply need to take that social risk. Yes, you must surrender control and be vulnerable.

Start by admitting that you are having a hard time doing something all by yourself. Ask your kids to help you with your latest tech device. They think they know stress. When we grew up, if you missed a TV show, you just missed it. Forever. Honestly, it’s not the way you look that reveals your age. It’s the use of complete sentences when you text. Ask your kids: You know what’s worse than slow Internet? Nothing.

But truly, you may think that your needs are obvious to your loved ones and therefore you need not even ask for a helping hand. No, he is not a mind reader. While you’re at it, don’t forget to let her know how much her comfort, support, or hand-holding meant to you at the time. Most of us would love to have learned the effect that we may have had. It helps to motivate us. It can be of great consequence to be made aware of the outcome of some of the actions and favors we have done. So, by all means, share with him all the benefits you derived from the advice he gave you.

You do not have to manage all on your own in this life. Do not pretend to know what you are doing. You are not incapable or incompetent. We all lack skill or experience in some matters. It is okay if she sees you grappling with something Please stop getting in your own way.

None of us want to feel as though we are a burden to others. You may carry it well, but it still may be too heavy for you. Maybe what weighs you down is not yours to carry alone. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed much of the time, perhaps you need a certain type of nourishment or assistance. And do not remind him that “He owes you one”; yes, you helped her in the past, but please do not point it out just now. Throw away that scorecard. It’s been said: I’ve never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.

We live in the same place, at the same time. Perhaps even on the same block. If you are blessed, then your neighbors actually care about your wellbeing. Most are kind and willing to help. Indeed, we go together like cupcakes and frosting. What do you call a pessimistic cupcake? A Little Debbie downer. When life gives you lemons, make lemon cupcakes. You can trust me, not alone with cake – but other than that…

“I should know how to do this myself.” Why are you telling yourself that? We all lean on each other from time to time. The one terrible disease (that may not be in BOLD capital letters everywhere you turn), but which we can all help cure is: loneliness. Please do reach out.

Do you think more about getting or giving? After all, we need community. Come In Unity.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at