We all go through many challenges in our lifetime. Some we can see, most we can’t. It’s not obvious when someone’s dealing with a mental illness, caring for an aging parent, or having financial difficulty. It’s important that we all have a support system.

Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Accepting help from someone can be as difficult — if not more so — than asking. People often offer help by saying, “let me know if there is anything I can do.” Friends and relatives aren’t mind readers. Tell them what you need.

When people offer to help:

  • Assume they are sincere.
  • Take them up on their offer by giving them a specific task to do.
  • Remember that reciprocity is a door that swings both ways. Giving and taking are essential for a supportive culture.