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To those who ask

The Harry Potter books have many memorable quotes in them. One that has been on my mind lately is Albus Dumbledore saying, "Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it."

Our partners, our friends, our managers, our colleagues, they are not mid readers. It is unfair for us to expect them to know what we are looking for and then help us with it. It is unfair for us to expect them to know how we are feeling or what's bothering us.

If we need help, all we need to do is ask.

Yet, we often refuse to ask for help explicitly. We indicate in a passive way, we talk in metaphors, we give subtle indications, but don't put ourselves out there and ask for help.

We do this because we don't want to be vulnerable. Putting ourselves out there and making an ask puts us in a place where the person we're asking can say no. So, we hesitate and behave in a way that can be construed as a request and yet retain plausible deniability.

Another reason is that we don't want to come across as weak or incapable of managing to get something done on our own, to deal with a situation on our own. By explicitly asking for help, we are admitting that we are unable to deal with it on our own. So, we hesitate and do it in a way that helps us retain plausible deniability.

But, when we overcome this feeling and put ourselves out there, there is a higher chance that we will receive the help we need. And if it is at Hogwarts, that chance turns to certainty.

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