Help! All You Have To Do Is Ask

Friends, Romans, countrymen.  When you need someone’s help, please, actually ask them for it.  Statements like the following are becoming astonishingly popular substitutes among society.

“I’m going to have to get you to help me with this.”

This statement makes a poor attempt at humility while also assuming the desired assistance before it is confirmed by saying, I thought I could do this myself but I need you to do it for me.

“I need you to do this for me.”

This statement is even worse as it implies that the person who needs help is over and above the person they want it from.  While there are cases where this may be true, when this statement is used among equals, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Both of these statements put the person who’s help is needed in an awkward position as he or she did not get a chance to even respond.  Help was just assumed.  What if the helper didn’t have time or couldn’t help you.  What are you going to do then?

Try this instead.  “Would you be able to help me with such and such?”  “Person responds according to their ability to acquiesce to your request,”

When you ask the question, it gives the other person a chance to respond to the question properly, it makes you sound less high and mighty, and you’re more likely to get the help you’re looking for.

You wouldn’t use either of those original openers to try to get a date, so why use them to get favours from people?

 

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