TED Talks Daily on Smash Notes

How to ask for help -- and get a "yes" | Heidi Grant

TED Talks Daily

Asking for help is tough. But to get through life, you have to do it all the time. So how do you get comfortable asking? In this actionable talk, social psychologist Heidi Grant shares four simple rules for asking for help and getting it -- while making the process more rewarding for your helper, too.

Episode notes last updated on July 01, 2019 08:29


In this episode

Smash Notes summary for this episode

Why is it so difficult to ask for help?

Even though it’s foolish for us to be afraid to admit that we need help from a loved one, we always feel embarrassed and uncomfortable when we ask for help. This is why we try to avoid asking for help as much as possible.

What is the illusion of transparency?

It’s the mistaken belief that our thoughts, feelings, and needs are obvious to other people. This isn’t true, but we believe it. Even the people closest to you often struggle to understand how they can support you.

What are helpful things to do when asking for help?

There are four things to keep in mind. When you ask for help, be extremely specific about the help you want and why. The second point is avoid disclaimers, apologies, and bribes. The third is to not ask for help over email or text because it feels incredibly impersonal. The last point is when a person agrees to help you, follow up afterwards to show appreciation.

Is it better to ask in person for help?

Yes, it is better than email or text requests. In person requests for help are 30 times more likely to get a “yes” than a request made by email. We tend to avoid asking for help in person because it feels awkward.

What is rewarding about helping?

When helpers knows that their help had an impact on the person asking for help. If they don’t get in touch with the helper after you helped the person, the helper won't never know if you really got the help you wanted.

What is the reality of modern work and life?

Nobody does it alone. We actually have to rely on other people with their support and collaboration in order to be successful.