If you’ve never met me, you’d probably notice my red hair first. Then you’d realize I’m not tall. Actually, I am pretty short by western adult standards. Just under 5 foot 2 inches.

This week I was traveling with a similarly statured colleague. We had two very different approaches.

For either of us to put a carry on in the overhead, we need to either be able to lift about a third of our weight, over our heads, with straight arms and use the tips of our fingers to nudge the carry-on forward into the overhead. Or we can, as my colleague did and I used to do, stand on the aisle seat that may or may not be our own, reach down and lift the bag, this time with bent arms, and put the carry-on in the overhead.

Or, as I have finally learned to do, look around for a taller traveler and ask for help. Hey, I’m the first one to the floor for things people drop – it’s close for me. But, for tall people jobs? I ask tall people for help.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to be willing to crawl across cut glass on the road while coughing to get to the drug store for cold meds. Do it all myself. Amazon helps with some things. Though the last time I bought cold meds on Amazon for same day delivery, I accidentally bought a three pack of 300 tablet bottles of Advil. It’ll take me a long time to take 900 Advil. I’m happy to send you a bottle.

But back to the main point. Most people are willing, able, and like to help. What are you doing by struggle that you could easily get help with? Find it hard to ask? Here are three tips.

  1. Ask when you don’t care. Most of the reason we don’t ask for help is fear of rejection. What if you ask when you don’t really need it? So if someone says no, you are fine. Try it in restaurants – ask for a different side, or in a hotel ask for an upgrade and so forth.
  2. Practice. Ask someone for something every day and track your results. Ask for discounts. Ask for seconds. Ask for someone else to pick up the kids. Ask for someone else to draft a report Ask. Ask. Ask.
  3. Make it a game. See how far you can go. How much can you ask for? How rare are the “no” responses? How much do you have to ask for to get to no?

 Let me know how this goes for you? In my experience, you’ll get a lot of yeses. That’s what you would say, right?

 All the best,