There are times you need a bit of extra TLC. For some, it’s easier to give support than to accept assistance from others. Being vulnerable and asking for help is a sign of significant strength, not weakness. According to researcher Brené Brown, there is significant courage in vulnerability. Allowing yourself to be comforted and supported by others is a skill some need to practice.

Try these tips, adapted from Psychology Today, to get emotional support from your network without feeling awkward.

  1. Identify trusted individuals who will be objective and listen to you without judgment or criticism. People closest to you are sometimes not the best source of support as they may be too close to the situation.

  2. Think about how you could use support, whether it is someone to listen, problem solve with, or take things off your plate, and then ask for it, people appreciate clarity

  3. If you don’t find relief through your network, lean on your Confidant coach or provider

  4. Allow your support person to provide you with their assistance without trying to control it

  5. When reaching out for that shoulder, be open and honest about your challenges

  6. Limit the number of people to whom you reach out - you may get overwhelmed with options

  7. Sharing a few details of your challenge may elicit just a minimal response, but that may sufficient to meet your needs

  8. Remember that the person that is trying to give you the support is doing their best and try not to be too critical

  9. Consider similar situations and identify what worked for you in the process of helping resolve your issue

Remember, you do not need to face challenging situations alone. Reach out to those you trust to help you get through emotionally charged issues. The caring, compassionate response you get will help ease your tension, anxiety, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness and can provide comfort, peace, and hope.