Emotional Fitness Training is a self-help program.  Sometimes Self-help  doesn’t work. Then you need to ask for help before you get into water over your head.

More about asking for help

Asking for help comes easy to some.  They can even get a Needs Shrinking Label from mental health professionals – Dependent Personality Disorder.

According to Psych Central this is someone who has: “a long-standing need … to be taken care of and a fear of being abandoned or separated from important individuals in his or her life.”

The closest to a Needs Shrinking Label for someone who doesn’t ask for help is the one called Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

According to Psych Central this is: “…a childhood disorder that is characterized by negative, defiant, disobedient and often hostile behavior toward adults and authority figures primarily.”

Why is this considered a childhood disorder?  Because real men and real women don’t take s— from anyone.  Sad for all too often that translates into don’t listen, don’t agree with, don’t follow the advice of others, and for goodness sake, don’t ask for help.

Cranky Old Lady thinks it is part of the rant that started with the hippy’s motto: “Never trust anyone over thirty.”

She may have chanted that way back when, but now she prefers to “Stand on the shoulders of giants.”  or as someone said, “Why make my own mistakes when I can learn from those who have marched ahead of me where the pot holes of life lie in wait.”

Now that adolescence has been officially extended to the mid or late thirties the habit of not asking for help except perhaps from a like-minded peer has become a way of life.

While Cranky Old Lady is ranting, let her comment of the recent ad showing a toddler dissing adult Jimmy Fallon. Then there are the ones with bankers and suits taking advice from second and third graders.   Makes me pull my thinning hair and recall my mothers quote “The world is going to H— in a hand basket.”

Children have wisdom that is true, but it is also true that a child’s wisdom is not at all related to the real world.  Children are not allowed to drive a car without first getting a learner’s permit, which means an adult needs to be around for a while to keep the kid and others safe.

Back from my rant and some tips for knowing when you need help.

Emotional fitness tips for knowing when you need help

Tip one: You can’t sleep nights for worrying.

Tip two:  You keep doing what should help, but it doesn’t.

Tip three:  Even your best friend changes the  subject when you bring up your worries.

Tip four: Everyone who dares to give you advice only throws you into the pit of despair or the flames of anger by telling  you to do what you have already tried repeatedly to no avail.

Tip five: Even you know you should get help, but don’t want to appear weak, or crazy.


The following tips are for an ongoing life problem keeping you awake at night, not  for life and death issues.  If you are thinking seriously or constantly of killing yourself, if you are engaged in physically harmful behaviors, if you or some one else is getting physically hurt these are 911 emergencies and need immediate attention from a mental health professional.  Minimally, call a suicide hot line.  They will hear you out and direct you to help. Here is a link to get you started in the US.   http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html

On to tips for ongoing life problems eating at your peace of mind.

Tip one:  Put it in writing. Not what you need help with, but the goal you are trying to reach.  Be short and specific.  Twenty five words or less.  Add to the goal what you have done to date to make that goal a reality.

Tip two:  Ask three people who know you best, but who are’t afraid to tell it like it is to sit down and review what you have written and then brain storm what more you need to do.

If they know each other and get along – get them together , otherwise meet with them one by one.  Ask each for three specific tips about what you should do next. Write the tips down.

Tip three:  After you have done the above, seek out a professional to help you sort through the advice and develop an action plan.

Now this is tricky because you need to rule out those who want to capture you as an on-going client.  So first, take advantage of what the internet offers in terms of free advice.  You can find free legal advice, free Dear Abby type advice, free coaching sessions, even free mental health consultations just by browsing a  bit.

Tip four:  When you start to pay for help, it is best to try at least six sessions and then to evaluate the results.  Be particularly wary of talk therapists who say it will take a long time to help.  Talk therapy has value, but not when it comes to solutions to the concrete problems of living which are usually the ones keeping us up at night. Seek talk therapy if you want to learn more about yourself, but not for quick answers.

As my first shrink said to me as we ended three years of analysis,  “You now have insight into why you do the things you do.  Insight is my job, using your insight to live better is your job.”  It did help to unburden myself and shake out all my fears and guilts for another to see and not judge.  At the same time, made me a bit cranky that he couldn’t help me spell out some concrete rules for living the good life.

Tip five: My tips, sound like a lot of work?  Yes, but along the way you might get some ideas that will move you ahead and stop your ceaseless worrying. Then you need go no further.

Tip six:  If nothing works, it may be time to do as the gamblers say “Fold ’em.”  By that I mean, mourn and let go, then set a new goal, a new direction.  It is a myth that you can get everything you want in life if you only want it enough and work toward it enough.


Life is a struggle, full of pain and suffering as well as pleasure and joy.  No one can go it alone.  Moreover, asking another for help gives them an opportunity to feel of value.

So in that light, let me ask you for help. Liking, commenting, sharing will help my efforts to spread what I hope is a bit of wisdom to a broader audience. So if you found this post helpful, like, comment or share. I promise your kindness is always repaid.


DISCLAIMER ONE: EMOTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING IS NOT THERAPY  Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you by others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

DISCLAIMER TWO: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share my blog. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability. If you hang in with me, thank you.

DISCLAIMER THREE: HERE COMES A SHAMELESS PLUG  Work of mine that is professionally edited can be found in my books, available on Amazon and readable on any tablet, laptop, Mac, PC, e-reader or Kindle device. If you enjoy my blog, please consider purchasing one of my books. Thank you.

When Good Kids Do Bad Things. A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers
Parents Are People Too. An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents
Tame the Test Anxiety Monster

Coming soon from MetaPlume: The e-book version of Parents Are People Too, then How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting, then a When Good Kids series followed by other out pourings  from my leaking brain.

You might also enjoy my Emotional Fitness Pinterest Board


Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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