Asking for Help is Harder than Asking for a Date

I like to do things myself.

In high school, I dated this girl for a while. The thing about dating someone regularly in high school is that you always have a built-in date for dances. And that’s nice.

But without fail, my parents would start hounding me about a month and a half before the dance. “How are you going to ask her?” they would ask.

I like to think that I am a creative person, but sometimes I have trouble coming up with original ideas. And at my high school, it was pretty important to ask someone to a dance originally. Fireworks were not necessary but encouraged. If you could figure out how to build a canal for gondola rides, you should do that. That sort of thing.

So a month and a half before the dance, my parents would be like, “When are you going to ask that girlfriend of yours to the dance?” I would respond that I didn’t have an idea, yet. And then they started to give me ideas. A lot of them were great. A lot of them were cute and adorable. But I refused to listen to them because I wanted to use my own ideas.

That was a noble quest, I suppose. Except one year that idea never came. And I waited too long. I asked my girlfriend to the dance one morning before school. That was it. Yawn.

This is a mistake I’ve repeated many times since then. I hate asking for help. Even when I get it into my head to ask for help, I rarely ask the kinds of questions that would benefit me. Instead, I dance around the issue, hoping that the person I’m talking to will magically read my mind. They don’t.

There are people out there with specific knowledge that you can use. These people are probably not in your immediate group of friends. We tend to encircle ourselves with people who are similar to us – single or married, student or businesswoman, parent or childless. They are great friends, certainly, but if we want specific knowledge we need to seek out people who have what we think we want. We need to talk to people who have already been through what we are going through. And then when we talk to them, we need to ask them very specific questions.

That way, we will always creatively ask the girl to the dance on time.

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