This Is How Smart People Ask for Advice

There is a time and place to ask for help, and that is any time you simply don’t have an answer. Don’t waste the energy of others around you by constantly asking questions if you’re just going to do what you want anyway. But for those tricky work decisions, relocation debates, or even relationship problems, it's usually best to bounce ideas off of a friend. A recent article on Mind Body Green insists that asking someone else questions helps open us up to possibilities we were never able to see for ourselves before. So here’s how the best and brightest do it:

  1. Start by admitting you don’t have all the answers. Yes, you may specialize in certain things, but there’s absolutely no way you are an expert in everything. Don’t feel like a failure by accepting that you may, in fact, need some assistance once in a while.
  2. Give the other person all the information they need. If you shy away from important details related to the situation, someone won’t be able to make an educated decision as to what you should do. Be positive that the other person knows everything you know.
  3. Admit it might be uncomfortable. Again, telling someone personal information about yourself may not be natural (or even feel good), but it'll be like a weight is lifted off of your chest by sharing your predicament.
  4. Talk to a stranger before asking a friend. If you’re too shy to explain the situation to someone you know well, try broaching the subject with an acquaintance or a friend of a friend (or go ask someone near you in the coffee shop). It makes us feel weird to let our guard down, so it’s easier to do with someone we don’t know particularly well. Added perk: They'll likely be less biased. 
  5. Make sure your friends make note of anything you may not see yourself. We’re all blind to certain things about ourselves, which is why we have people dear to us who can point these things out. They might not all be easy to hear, but we deserve to know if something is affecting us and our decision-making process.

To read more about this topic, visit Mind Body Green.

This book is a must-read for anyone who has qualms about asking for help. 

 How do you ask for advice? What are your best tips?