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What is the best way to ask people for help when you are hurting without telling them the specifics of personal information on why you are struggling?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 10/16/2018 at 11:56am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Elena Morales, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
February 13th, 2017 7:59am
Using phrases from your question, I think these options are fair: "I am hurting. I'd like to ask for help." or "I don't want to tell you specifics or give personal information, but I am struggling and hurting and want to ask for help." Be honest, communicate, be patient, and loving with yourself. You can find the support you are looking for if you continue openly seeking it. Don't give up on yourself.
spectacularBeauty75
March 1st, 2015 10:28pm
You should tell them your emotions around a specific event or personal thing, and that way someone can help you deal with the emotional side of your pain.
bestTruth96
March 2nd, 2015 3:06pm
It is ok to be vague in details when asking for help. Can you ask for a help in just a few sentences? There is no wrong way to seek help as long as people understand you are asking for help.
PoetaSinVersos
April 7th, 2015 12:40am
You don't need to ask people for help. You might find WHAT kind of help do you need (maybe you need a hug, maybe you need them to listen to you, maybe you just need to laugh with them). Once you've found what kind of help you need, you just need to ask a friend to accomplish it: You can ask them to hang out and play some videogames, go to the cinema, or just getting a coffee. Whatever suits you. They will understand that you are not okay and you need them, and they won't pressure you into telling them what happens.
Anonymous
May 11th, 2015 3:05pm
Let feelings out. Don't be specific about the problem but how it makes you feel. Compare it to another situation. "Let's say Bob and Sally wanted to date but were too scared..What would I do?" something like that.
imperfectlistener
June 8th, 2015 3:20am
Just be honest-- say you don't want to give specifics, but that you really need support at that time and would appreciate help.
LauraMSW87
August 25th, 2015 9:11pm
Sometimes there aren't people around with whom you feel comfortable sharing the very intimate details of the reasons you're currently struggling. In those instances, having some people around who will be there to support you without asking too many questions can be helpful. Having a conversation with someone when you're not struggling may be a good way to set the stage. For example, letting someone know: "Sometimes I struggle with ---- (tough emotions, depression, feeling really overwhelmed, a lot of sadness, feeling alone ...) and I just need to talk to someone about anything at all, not necessarily directly about the things I'm struggling with. Could you be one of those people?" Or you could engage your support system in that same way without even having that conversation. Sometimes just having a few people in mind who are good people to do some activity with or who just like to talk about random things can be a helpful distraction in times of need.
Anonymous
November 1st, 2015 11:45pm
Keep it simple and general perhaps with phrases like "I'm really hurting and struggling right now I know my behaviour must be horrible but I really appreciate you sticking by me"
maieyariem12
November 24th, 2015 8:01pm
by telling them what i feel and not the reasons of that feeling tasking them advices about to stop this feeling!!
LexJPT
July 4th, 2016 3:20am
Just ask for help, for someone to listen and to not ask a lot of questions. Just ask for a helping hand, don't be afraid.
BeyondEmpathy
September 27th, 2016 9:07pm
I find asking people if they want to meet for a coffee just because things are a bit tough at the minute and having some company might be helpful in changing my mood.
Anonymous
February 28th, 2017 6:16pm
I think that it really helps when you give hypothetical examples to the person that you are talking wiht. If you have a problem with chewing gum too much and you do not what the person to know you have this problem, you could say "I have really been trying to help a friend out. I don't know what to do for her because she has an issue with chewing gum too much. I have tried but am unable to help. Do you have any ideas on how you would handle it?"
friendInDisguise
October 16th, 2018 11:56am
I don't think you can actually get help without sharing the specifics. As for personal information, you can always talk hypothetically. But it becomes very important that the other person understands the importance of the conversation you are having. You can always leave out the names or locations or dates but focus on feelings, and events that stirred up things into motion. How or why things changed and in what ways can they influence people in general. Although, I would always suggest that people can keep personal information to themselves, but the reason for 'why you are struggling' is very important to find a solution. If someone perceives the reason to be something else, the help provided may not be enough.