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Hand reaching out for help with the graphics titled, "It's Okay to Ask for Help".

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

It can be difficult to ask for help. How do you go about asking for help? Tune in on this episode of Heart And Soul to learn more about the benefits of asking for help.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Brother Solo Figueroa: Though we were weak at the time, though we may have been confused at that time. But when we made that prayer and we really ask God for that help, that specific help that we were looking for. He provided for us, right?

Shannon Santamaria: You know, Brother Solo you put it best asking for help from Him. And I think all of us can really take that advice and run with it, because it’s the best kind of advice.


Shannon: You’re listening to Heart And Soul, a podcast from the Iglesia Ni Cristo Church Of Christ. I’m one of your hosts, Shannon Santamaria, and it’s here where we have real conversations with friends who are helping each other reach the best version of themselves. This is Heart and Soul.

[Show intro]

Shannon: Hey, everyone, it’s Shannon. And today I want to talk about how to effectively ask for help. And with me today, our host, Gretchen. Hey, Gretchen.

Gretchen Asuncion: Hey. 

Shannon: Nice to see you again.

Gretchen: Same to you

Shannon: And hey, McGill.

McGill Onate: What’s up, Shannon?

Shannon: Hey. And of course, with us is the Minister of the Gospel Brothers Solo. Hi, Brother Solo.

Brother Solo: Hi sister Shannon. Hi, everyone. Thank you for having me.

Shannon: I’m so glad you’re here with us. And I feel like you are the perfect person to ask for help in this podcast. Actually, you know I’ve actually had a lot of advice and I’ve openly asked for your help Brother Solo. Asking for help is a difficult thing to do because, you know, there are a lot of insecurities and maybe even, you know, I guess, vulnerability when it comes to asking for help, right Gretchen?

Gretchen: Yeah, definitely. It can sometimes be seen as a weakness because we are all empowered to be able to do it on our own.

Shannon: Right. Now McGill I want to know if you’ve ever had a moment where you, you know, struggled with asking for help, you know, whether it was in public or whether you were scared to ask for help from a friend. I know I’ve had my fair share of moments.

McGill: I’m 100% guilty of that. Like, I mean, I probably still am guilty about that today. You know, a lot of my mindset around nowadays is that I can do everything on my own. I’m okay. I’m strong. I don’t really need another one’s help. Or if I am going through problems, I can do things generally on my own. But I know thinking like that nowadays isn’t the best way to think about things. But yeah, I’ve definitely been guilty about not asking for help when I definitely do need it.


Shannon: I know I remember I would keep things to myself because I thought, you know, asking for help isn’t like—what you said, it wasn’t the best option to do so. But, you know, I think when it comes to asking for help, it’s also a sign of strength. I don’t know if you guys would agree.

McGill: Yeah, no, I definitely agree with that because, going through my day-to-day life, I’ve noticed that it actually does take a lot of strength to ask to reach out. I know some of my other friends at Church, they have trouble reaching out and asking for help. It does take some strength. It does take—because you need to make yourself vulnerable, right?

In that situation, you have a problem going on and then reaching out and exposing these problems does make you vulnerable. Some people aren’t comfortable with that, including myself. So yeah, it does take a lot of strength to actually do reach out to and ask for help.

Gretchen: But then there’s a benefit in asking for help. You get that it almost alleviates whatever burden that help that you’re asking for and knowing, you know, the ones that you could ask help from. 

Shannon: I mean, I think you said it best, Gretchen, you know, knowing who to ask for help. But before I wanted to address the big stigma behind it, asking for help doesn’t mean you’re lazy or you’re weak by any means. You know, it’s okay to ask for help, to get help, wouldn’t you agree Brother Solo?

Brother Solo: Oh, yes, Sister Shannon. And to those who are with us in our talk today, you know, it’s okay. It really is okay to ask for help. And the Bible, of course, being as guided by the words of our Almighty God, we should use God’s words to help us understand why it’s okay to ask for help. And we can read what’s written here in Ecclesiastes 4, we’ll read in verses 9 to 10 and also verse 12.

Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him…Two men can resist an attack that would defeat one man alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.” 

[Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, 12 Today’s English Version]

Brother Solo: So hopefully we took note of what the Bible taught us in this particular verse, asking for help is not a sign of being what others might call lazy or weak, but rather it’s very wise because that’s exactly what the Bible teaches.


There are certain situations, aspects of our life that we would need the help, the assistance of someone else. And we know also right Sister Shannon and to those joining us as well. That’s, you know, someone who is ready to assist could very well save us some time and keep us from making mistakes in this life.


Shannon: You know, Brother Solo, I was actually reading this article on CNBC, and I guess I remember this quote saying that “People are hardwired to want to do things on their own and be independent-minded.” And even later down in the article, it said, “We don’t want to be ashamed of our situation or come across as incompetent.”


I mean, for me, I guess I don’t know what I guess maybe triggered or what insinuated me into thinking that I have to be independent all the time. That in doing so, you know, if I asked for help, I would be seen as lazy. I don’t know if you guys have ever thought of that, you know, like maybe it’s a small task or maybe it’s like a big task for me. Sometimes I do feel like I can’t ask for help, even though, you know, this podcast is all about being open to it.


Gretchen: I think it’s the responsibility that comes with it. You know, if we are given a task or there’s something that we want to accomplish for ourselves. It’s almost like a goal that we can attain for ourselves that if we don’t ask for help, it gives us credit of, ‘Oh, I did it for myself.’ But there are times where it might be bigger than what we think it is and that is that call for help.


McGill: Yeah, for sure. And, and like I feel like, yes sorry, I was just going to jump in, but.


Shannon: No, no. Feel free to jump in, McGill. I mean, I want to—do you have a story that you want to share with us, you know, about a time where you did feel like asking for help felt like the wrong thing to do? Was that ever a thing that happened to you?


McGill: There was. And it actually really, really was not good that I didn’t ask for help. I kept it all to myself. I remember.


Shannon: Tell us. Tell us.


McGill: I was in this relationship and you know, I was in a relationship. But it actually wasn’t it wasn’t going so well. We would have these fights going on here and there, even for the littlest things. And in my thought process, I was like, man, we shouldn’t be having these fights. And if I want this to be resolved with her, we can do it ourselves.

And I never bothered to reach out and ask for another opinion. I never reached out and bothered to ask, am I in the wrong? Is she in the wrong? Or maybe we can work together in some sort of way, meet in the middle or something like that. I was completely lost and the reason why I didn’t reach out to my friends or to a minister to anyone is because I was ashamed that I was faltering in the relationship.


I was falling short and I wanted to be like the like an awesome person. I want to be the cool person.

Shannon: Right.

McGill: And being in a healthy relationship, that’s being cool. But in my eyes, seeing that I was in—the relationship wasn’t as strong as it is. 

Shannon: Yeah. 

McGill: I didn’t want to expose that to all my friends and everyone, so that’s why I kept it to myself. But it ended up emotionally destroying me and it just wasn’t, it wasn’t pretty. So definitely, you know, hearing the Bible verse and learning that reaching out is actually a really good thing and asking for help. Yeah, I should have definitely done that back in that time. But yeah, reaching out for help and getting a second opinion or just really understanding my situation from another perspective would have greatly, greatly helped me in that scenario.


Gretchen: I can definitely relate to that. Usually relationships are big changes in our lives, right? 


Shannon: Yeah.

Gretchen: I did find myself—I guess is spiralling a good word too?

Shannon: I mean, spiralling like, you know, your emotions are all over the place, spiralling?

Gretchen: Right. And you kind of just want to, I guess, for lack of a better word, I guess suck it up and just be strong for yourself. Or it’s not affecting me in any way. But then at the end of it all, like, there’s people that surround you. You have a support system that you know, if you need to have your hand held some way somehow for you to get out of a hole of, you know, whatever changes are being made in your life, you kind of have to grab hold of that hand.


Shannon: I’ve recently learned that I can ask for help and it’s not a sign of weakness and it’s not a sign of being shameful or not being able to do anything or any of these, you know, guilty feelings that you might be having, right? I feel like, you know, every time you are in front of someone, you always have to put your best foot forward.

But it’s okay to be vulnerable. And I think that’s what we’re doing today. I know there were times where it made me feel insecure or vulnerable for asking for help. And sometimes it’s like simple things, like not being able to open a jar, you know? I know you guys know that I can pull 300lb on a given day, right? But I can’t open a jar of butter.

So it’s you know, it’s a bit confusing, but it’s something, I guess for me, it’s like humbling myself that asking for help is okay and to do it more often. But I think I think in order to ask for help, there are effective ways to ask for help and to confidently and successfully do so.


And this is from an article on Harvard Business Review titled ‘Five Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help.’ And so, you know, every time I ask myself or every time you ask yourself, how do I ask for help? Here are some of the things that I keep in mind when it comes to asking for help.

So, it goes the first is to earn responses to your request by helping people first. So, asking for help, you know, it’s a two way street. Like you have to be more than willing to give help to to help other people.

The second is, knowing what you want to ask. You can’t go up to someone and be like, “Hey, I need help.” And they’re like, “okay, what do you need help with?” You’re like, “I need help.” And then just runs away. You’re like, I need help, you know, like, be specific with what you want to ask.

When you ask have a goal in mind by using a SMARTly method. Do you know what SMARTly is? Do you know that method?

A well-formulated request is SMART: Specific, Meaningful (why you need it), Action-oriented (ask for something to be done), Real (authentic, not made up), and Time-bound (when you need it) 


McGill: I heard of that before. It’s an acronym, right, Shannon?


Shannon: Yes. Do you know what the acronym is or?


McGill: I think it’s—something measurable. Yeah no, it’s not popping in my brain.


Gretchen: A for effort.


Shannon: You tried and you know what I, I think I can ask Brother Solo. Brother Solo, do you know what the acronym SMART is?


Brother Solo: I think I think our brother had the second one right.


McGill: Was it, oh, was M ‘measurable’?


Brother Solo: Measurable. Yeah.


Shannon: Yeah, it is measurable I suppose. But it’s something that is I guess you can focus on. Something that is accomplishable or it’s not too drastic. You know, if I ask for help, I’m like, can you help me make a car? You’re like,that is not measurable. First of all, I don’t know how to make a car, but, you know, measurable for both you and for the person asking.

And the other tip is, don’t assume you know who and what people know. So, I’m not going to assume that you know how to make a car. You might be driving a car, but I’m going to be like, McGill, can you help me make a car? I saw you driving the other day. You know, I don’t know if you know how to make a car.


McGill: Oh, yeah.


Shannon: So, be clear with what you want and be clear with your intention.


And the last one is, create a culture we’re asking for help is encouraged. So if someone asks for help, you know, sometimes I ask for help for like the simplest things, like, can you help me find toilet paper? Like when I go grocery shopping. Because for me, when I go into, you a big store and I feel overwhelmed and overstimulated, it’s like my brain is everywhere.


I’m like, oh, there’s a T-shirt here. There are spoons over here. And I forget the task at hand. I just need to get toilet paper, you know? So asking for help, even if it’s simple, encourage that, be confident with asking for help. So next time I’ll be like, hey, guys, help me find toilet paper.


Gretchen: We’ll split up and find it.


Shannon: Yeah. But you know, these are just some examples. So that way the person who is being asked can confidently help you. And you can feel confident too that you’re getting the help that you need, you know? So what are, I guess, some common things that you would normally ask for help for?


McGill: Can you reach that thing on top of the shelf for me? Because I’m not that tall to grab it. I’ve received that one a lot.


Shannon: Oh, are you tall?


McGill: I’m not—well for the general population of the ones around me. I’m generally taller than everyone. So, I mean, I’m like, I’m 5’9”, but.


Shannon: Yeah.


McGill: Everyone else is like, 5’5” or something.


Shannon: Oh, you have an advantage.


McGill: I have a little bit of an advantage.


Shannon: What about you, Gretchen?


Gretchen: I, something that I…


Shannon: You ask on a daily or you know, something you ask all the time that is so normalised.


Gretchen: I think like at work, right? If we have a big task day, it’s kind of like, okay. It’s kind of dividing like—or prioritising exactly what’s important. And if I can pawn it off to a coworker, they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I have time for that. I’ll get back to it.’ So it’s just kind of checkpoints like that and it’s like, okay thank you.


Shannon: That reminded me of the time. This isn’t a, you know, I bought this jar of ghee. Do you know what ghee is? It’s like butter. I mean, ghee is ghee. Basically use it for cooking. Right, Brother Solo? I don’t know if I’m explaining it—it’s a jar of butter. I want to say it’s a jar of butter. And for the life of me, I couldn’t open it for a whole month. And I didn’t ask because I was okay, because, you know, my friends and my family, they’re like, Shannon, you lift a lot, you know, like you can squat so many pounds or you can bench so many pounds or whatever. And I couldn’t for the life of me, I couldn’t open this jar and I tried every night. Genuinely this is true as day. I tried every night to open it because I wanted to use that butter to make steak, but I couldn’t open it. So, like, I would just air fry my steak because I couldn’t open the butter.


And so I finally asked one of my friends. I brought the jar with me to the gym, to open it. I know, I know. Hey, hey. We’re normalising, asking for help. And I was like, guys, I will make you steak if you open this jar. And, you know, the first friend tried it and they’re like, ‘What did you do?’ Because the thing is, I tried all options. I tried to use a rag to open it, tried to put the knife under it to open it. Tried to get like air out.


McGill: And then run it under some warm water.


Shannon: Exactly. I ran it under warm water. I did everything and I couldn’t. So, you know, the jar is obviously going to be tighter than it originally came in and so they were trying to open it for 30 minutes. And I was just so ashamed, I got to say.


McGill: What kind of jar is this?

Gretchen: Shannon-proofed. It’s Shannon-proofed.


McGill: It’s everyone-proofed.


Shannon: Yeah, it’s yeah, yeah. I was really shy about, you know, asking for help for a jar. But after it was all done and they opened it, I was really relieved. I really thanked them for opening a jar. And it’s those small moments of appreciation that you really appreciate that person for being there, for, you know, helping you with the simplest of tasks.

And of course, we’re laughing about it now, but [in] the moment, two people had to try, you know, open this jar that I have been holding off for a month because I couldn’t open it. So, I want to thank my friends for that. But it really did make me feel better when I ask for help. One, because I made really good steak, and two, because it made me realise that asking for help is normal, even if it’s a small task.


McGill: That’s great.


Brother Solo: I was going to ask what happened to that steak?


Shannon: I ate it.


McGill: Was it was a bussing?


Shannon: It was good. It was very, very good. It was delicious. I did make them steak after for opening the jar. That was the condition. I made sure that they knew about it. I guess for me a smart request is a well formulated request, is SMART.

You know, it’s specific. So I wanted them to open the jar. It’s meaningful. Like, why did I need it? Because I want to make steak. It’s action oriented, you know, asking for it to be done. And it’s real. It’s authentic. I’m not making this up like, hey, open this jar and I’m pranking them or I’m fooling them. And, you know, I mean I.


McGill: You actually super glued it the entire time and then you’re recording all their reactions. Ha, you can’t open this jar of butter. Butter. Jar of butter.


Shannon: A jar of butter!


McGill: This jar of butter. Wow say that ten times fast.


Shannon: Yeah and the last one it’s time bound. So for me, I mean I didn’t give them a specific time, but I did bring it with me. So, the time was, it was urgent. One because I’ve been holding off on this jar for a month because I’ve been genuinely,


Gretchen: Was there an expiration date?


Shannon: No, I mean I’m sure there is, but the month was still doable. I hope so. I hope I didn’t use expired butter. But yeah, I mean, I asked for that request, with an intent, with a goal in mind.

So, I guess that’s what I, what I had. I know Brother Solo, you’re listening to this conversation. A jar of butter. A butter of jar. It took you how many months to open it? A month. But, you know, asking for help is genuinely the best thing I could have done for that jar of butter. 

But I guess for me, I guess I wanted to ask what is the first thing we do before we ask for help? And, you know, maybe for more serious matters? Yeah, for a jar of butter, you can ask a friend, but we do have a lot of things that are more meaningful, more personable and more vulnerable. 

I guess I wanted to ask Brother Solo, what should we be doing? What is the first thing we do before we ask help from someone?


Brother Solo: And you know, it’s what you said. You went to someone who you thought that could help you out in that situation, right? And usually that’s what we do. We don’t ask just anyone for help. We ask someone who we think that would be able to provide us that needed help, that exact thing that we are looking for.


But as of course, we are members of the Church Of Christ. Well, let’s ask the Bible. Is there something that we need to remember when we ask for help? Oh, let’s read here in Proverbs 28. Chapter 28, the verse is 7. The Bible again will give us the answer.

Young people who obey the law are wise; those who seek out worthless companions bring shame to their parents.

[Proverbs 28:7 New Living Translation]

Brother Solo: So what we should understand in this verse, there are companions who the Bible calls as worthless. What does that mean then? That it means that there are companions, that that are not worth our time, right? There are those who would not really help us. We have to be very careful then who we approach for help. Because there might be those who give us the wrong kind of help, the wrong kind of advice.

Yes, we’re asking for help from someone, but if we ask the wrong person, we might get the wrong help. That’s why we as members of the Church Of Christ, if we seek advice or help from fellow Church members, members who give importance to the laws and commandments of our Almighty God as well, well then we can be certain that we will receive counsel or advice that is wise, that will really be for our benefit, that will really help us in whatever we are facing in this life.


Shannon: Brother Solo something that came up in my mind when you were reading that verse is maybe, I don’t know, maybe this is a question that I want answered. I don’t know what it is, but maybe the reason why we feel ashamed to ask for help was because we had those types of companionship or friendships that weren’t beneficial for us.

Is that I mean, am I understanding that correctly? Because, you know, there are times when I’m ashamed to ask for help because I feel like I’ll be looked down upon instead of receiving that right kind of help.


Brother Solo: Right. And then and, you know, it’s it also plays into our our fear, right? Our thinking that we don’t want to seem weak to people, right? Well, just like what is reminded of us here is that, well, we should make sure that the ones we are going to and asking for help, they are the ones who obey or who follow the commandments of our mighty to God. That will certainly make sure that we are led to the correct answer.


Shannon: You know, I was just thinking about how I would ask you guys to open that jar for me any time, and not feel ashamed. Because we’ve had this conversation, you know, me opening myself up to you guys about, things that make me feel vulnerable or insecure and asking for help and asking for guidance. You know, I know that I can always ask for that help, but even though I am asking toward, you know, asking and being mindful about who I’m asking, I guess I wanted to ask Brother Solo who should we really be asking help from and why? I mean, you said to be very specific, you know, be very intentional with who we ask our help from, like who we should get our help from.


Brother Solo: And that’s a very good question, right? Yeah we can, if we need help in one thing, we know who from our circle of friends maybe right?


Shannon: Right.


Brother Solo: There’s one that we run to for, let’s say, financial advice. We there’s one we run to for life advice, right? But who is the best one that we should run to first and foremost?


Again, let’s allow the Bible to tell us the answer here in the Book of Psalms. In Psalms 73, verses 23, 24, and we’ll also read verse 26.

Yet I always stay close to you, and you hold me by the hand. You guide me with your instruction and at the end you will receive me with honor. My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; he is all I ever need.

[Psalms 73:23-24, 26, Today’s English Version]

Brother Solo:So who is it that we should go to? First and foremost, it’s none other than our Almighty God. Just like the servant of the Lord God said, God is my strength and He is all I ever need. You know, God is Almighty. God is full of love and He chose us to be His, His children in these last days.


So He really does care for us. That’s why, you know, whatever problem we may be facing in this life, yes, we can go to our friends, our loved ones for help and for advice. But the best, the best and the first thing that we should do is run to our Almighty God and ask Him for the strength that we need in this life.

Shannon: You know, Brother Solo you put it best asking for help from Him. And I think all of us can really take that advice and run with it, because it’s the best kind of advice. And I want to thank you for joining us here today. And I know our time here on Heart And Soul is coming to a close, but thank you for leaving us feeling uplifted and inspired.

And, you know, I think that’s what’s great about being a Church Of Christ member. We can ask help from the one who knows exactly what we need. And to have God in my life is the biggest help I can get. Brother Solo and everyone joining us, Gretchen and McGill here today. I know that we’ll have to cut our episode short and save the rest of our awesome conversations for the next episode. 

But you know, I want to say thank you for helping me in this episode, for letting me be vulnerable in the most fun and sincere way possible. So, thank you again to all of the hosts and Brothers Solo for joining me today. And I know I needed help asking. I really did. I needed help asking for you guys to be here because I wouldn’t have ever wanted it in any other way.

So feel free to check out our sources by visiting and thank you again for listening to INC Heart And Soul where we have real conversations with people around the world. Bye!

McGill: Bye everyone, thanks for listening!


Gretchen: Bye! 


Brother Solo: Bye everyone!