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Asking for Help When in Conflict

Pooh is a lot smarter than I am. I admit – I am reticent to ask for help when I am going through a bad time – including an interpersonal or (for that matter) an internal conflict. Truthfully, I seem to prefer to be there for others but, have trouble asking for help myself. My reasons vary – depending on the situation.

At times, I am not always sure what I want or need. Or, I feel ashamed about how I interacted and am worried about being judged (I’m already doing enough of that!). Sometimes, I don’t want to be seen as unable to manage the situation; other times, I am not sure I am able to express what’s really going on for me. Also, I don’t find everyone listens well, or can curb a tendency to give their advice, albeit well-meaning. And then, there are some who personalize my situation by telling me all about a situation when the exact same thing happened to them! Know what I mean?

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to explore why you are not asking for help and what sort of help you would find most important regarding a current  interpersonal conflict that you are agonizing about. Or, maybe the conflict happened in the past and you are still ruminating about it. In either case, if you are feeling reluctant to ask for help I suggest you consider if these questions shed some light on a way forward.

  • What is your interpersonal conflict about?
  • What sorts of things are you agonizing about most?
  • What else feels especially hard about this particular conflict?
  • What unresolved feelings linger for you? What else remains unresolved?
  • What themes are there about the sorts of things you are agonizing about with respect to this conflict and others you have experienced?
  • What do you need or want right now in the form of help?  What makes that or those things particularly important for you?
  • What makes it hard to ask for help? What are the themes about why you feel reluctant to ask for help with this and other conflicts?
  • When you have been in similar situations, what sort of help has been most meaningful? Who or what has been most helpful?
  • If you were to reach out about this conflict, who might you call on? What could you say since you are feeling reluctant about reaching out?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflict management

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