Afraid to Ask for Help?

Dr. Paula Durlofsky’s five tips to help you get what you need.

Asking for help is more difficult for some than it is for others. But it has been shown to greatly improve our degree of happiness.

Getting the help we need deepens our relationships with others. When we share our burdens, struggles and problems, we create intimacy, leading to more harmonious relationships. Asking for help also aids in developing a sense of personal empowerment and emotional growth. 

So if asking for help can make you happier, why does it make so many people feel uncomfortable? One of the biggest obstacles is the fear of appearing vulnerable. Others fear their requests will fall on deaf ears, while others don’t want to appear as if they’re not self-sufficient or in control.

Here are five ways to get the help you need:

1. Start out with a simple request. It will make you feel less vulnerable.

2. Have realistic expectations. People can offer their help, but they may not be able to solve your problem. 

3. Express what you need help with in a clear and concise way.

4. Let others know you are there to help them, as well.

5. Give a big “thank you” to those who’ve helped you.

What stops you from asking for help? I’d like to hear from you. Comment below or email me at

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About This Blog

Dr. Paula Durlofsky is a psychologist in private practice in Bryn Mawr, whose practice focuses on psychological issues affecting individuals, couples, and families.

Dr. Durlofsky treats a wide variety of disorders and has a special interest in issues affecting women. She is affiliated with Bryn Mawr Hospital, Lankenau Hospital, the Women's Resource Center in Wayne, and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. In addition to her practice, Dr. Durlofsky is a workshop facilitator and blogger. 

If you have questions or feedback for Dr. Durlofsky, please don't hesitate to reach out to her via email at

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