How to Ask Friends for Support in Tough Times

Sometimes it can be so hard to ask for help when we’re going through an illness or some other life crisis. Why is it so hard for us to ask for help? Everyone at some point will need help and there should be nothing to be ashamed about. It is a good skill to have to be able to ask friends for support in tough times. We live in such a do it yourself culture it can be hard for us to admit we need help from time to time. I know from first hand experience that it can be difficult for us to make ourselves vulnerable. That is exactly what happens when we ask for help though. We make ourselves vulnerable. That can be an awkward place to be. We don’t like to feel inadequate.

ask friends for support in tough times



I think Holley Gerth says it best in her book “You’re Already Amazing” She points out ,”in order to receive, we have to open our hearts, hands and lives. We put ourselves in a place that’s vulnerable. When we give we’re usually more in control.”

Recently I was having a very hard time due to a fibromyalgia flare that was lasting much longer than normal. I tend to get depressed and anxious when it drags on. What if people don’t understand? What if I can’t get to my doctor’s appointment or get groceries? If I am at all capable of doing it myself I do, but sometimes I have times where I can barely get out of bed.

I did something for the first time in a long time. I asked friends for help. My family members have always been supportive, but they don’t live close enough to give practical help. I had a doctor’s appointment coming up and didn’t want to cancel it. I was nervous about asking a non family member to help, but I knew my friends cared about me and they would either say yes or tell me they weren’t available which I would totally understand. Guess what? They said yes. I was so grateful and touched by their generosity I got tears in my eyes. A few days later a friend of mine texted me asking if I needed anything. I hesitated again, but figured they wouldn’t of asked if they didn’t mean it. I needed groceries, they were going to be at the store anyway so I asked. They were happy to do it.

I learned something these past few weeks. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. We are not meant to do life alone. There are things I can offer other people too, even if I have limited energy or resources. We can offer encouragement through text messages, e-mails and cards sent in the mail. We can pray for them. When we’re at the store we can ask them if they need anything. We can make extra food when we’re cooking and freeze it for a later time when a friend might be in need. We can just listen and let them know we care about them.

Here are a few other ways we can find support in times of need:

  • Think of the friends we already have in our circle. We may have friends from work, church, or groups our children attend. Make a list.
  • If you can’t think of anyone ask your doctor or pastor or join a support group to meet people.
  • Have courage to ask them if they would be willing to help from time to time. Be clear how they can help. Don’t make them feel obligated. Let them know that you want to support them in anyway you can.
  • Ask them when they are going to the store and see if they can also pick up a few things for you as well.
  • If they happen to be going through a drive through ask them to call you to see if you need a meal.
  • Take turns watching each others children. It can be a big help just to have the house to yourself to rest or get things done.
  • Don’t forget to include people like massage therapists, chiropractors and nutritionists if you are lucky enough to have them.
  • If you need help cleaning your house, but can’t afford to hire someone think about bartering or asking a teen in your neighborhood to help. Often they are willing to do it for much less.

How do you feel about asking for help when you are in need? Do you think it’s something we should learn to do? I would love your thoughts. If you found this post helpful please share it using the social media buttons below.


  1. says

    These are all good points, and it takes courage to ask. I am all about helping, but hate to ask for help. I have an idea why. I have a great group of friends. A few years ago I needed help as we were going through something with our oldest. I could ONLY ask one friend for help, and I did. That one friend never asked any questions… That I cherished….
    BritishMumUSA recently posted…FlamingoedMy Profile

    • Tanya says

      That’s wonderful that you have a great group of friends. Some people don’t have that. I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to ask that one friend. It is so important to be there for each other.

  2. says

    Great suggestions for asking for help (which is never easy–I’m so independent I used to feel badly if I had to ask someone to hold a door open for me because my hands were full. I’ve learned how to accept help and I’m learning to ask for it when it’s needed (after all, I’m always happy to help–I shouldn’t deprive others of the same opportunity!).
    Anita Ojeda recently posted…Sovereign or Souvenir? Which Kind of God are You Looking For?My Profile

    • Tanya says

      I’m glad you are learning to ask for help. I have heard that it can be a blessing for someone else to help us, just like when we help others it can be a blessing to us as well.

  3. says

    Hi Tanya! These are such great tips. I have the hardest time asking for help yet I’m the first person to volunteer to help someone else out. I know I need to start asking but it is just so hard for me to be vulnerable like you said. I have no problem asking my family for help but when it comes to asking my friends I just can not bring myself to do it. Thank you for your tips. I’m going to try and use them next time I need help.
    Brandi @ recently posted…Rise and Shine Morning Glory Muffins {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}My Profile

    • Tanya says

      I agree that it is so much easier asking my family than friends. I guess because I usually no ahead of time what their response will be. Thanks for visiting!

  4. says

    This is a great list. It can be so hard to ask for help! And, sometimes when friend offer, I still find myself trying to figure out how to do it all myself. Thanks for your words here and for taking on this subject so well.
    And, thanks for linking up this week at Front Porch Inspired! It was a new link up (the first week!) so I was thrilled you ladies jumped in on it! I hope you’ll be back on Thursday. 🙂
    Anne Dahlhauser | Front Porch Inspired recently posted…The Good Lie movie review & resourcesMy Profile

    • Tanya says

      Thanks Emma for sharing your thoughts. I have an easier time asking my family too, but feel uncomfortable asking my in-laws. I sometimes feel embarrassed that I need help.

  5. says

    Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to need help and to ask for it. I know that many times my pride interferes with me reaching out to others or even sharing my story. It does open up the door for better understanding and much needed encouragement to keep going. Thanks for sharing.


    • Tanya says

      I totally can relate. It’s so hard sometimes to be vulnerable. When people do help us it’s so nice to know that we have people that care about us, and when we’re in a better place we can be there for them!

  6. says

    I think the world encourages us women to act like we can do it all, but I believe that God intends for us to allow others to help us. I have a hard time accepting help when offered, let alone asking for it. But a dear friend once told me that if I turned down the help she had offered, I was robbing her of HER blessing! This really made me stop and think. When we don’t accept help when we need it, we are preventing others from being a blessing to us, and in turn, they miss out on their own blessing in the process! Thank you for this lovely and thought-provoking post!
    Kelli recently posted…When God Gives You EnoughMy Profile

    • Tanya says

      I totally agree! I was told that a few years ago. We should not feel ashamed for accepting help. Thanks for visiting!

  7. says

    Great advice, Tanya! This topic may seem like a no brainer in other cultures, but us westerners have a difficult time revealing our needs and simply asking for help.
    I’m sure I speak for many when I say I’m glad not to feel alone that this sometimes can seem more of daunting than it should.

    Blessings on better health,



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