It can be frustrating when you feel that you are getting no help at all and that you have to do everything alone. Sometimes all you want is for other people to pull their weight.
You can’t necessarily have a direct impact on the behaviour of others, but you can change your behaviour to motivate others to help you, and set up a situation where they are expected to help you out.
Here’s how to get people to help you
1. Examine your own behaviour
Do you make it difficult for people to help you? Are you critical of people’s efforts or unclear or ungrateful when people offer to help you? All of these things are guaranteed to make people less likely to want to help you.
So instead, be grateful for help offered and accept that if someone else is doing a task, it might not necessarily get done the way that you’d do it. However, it will get done and you won’t have to do it. Be grateful for that!
2. Don’t be so available
Moms are especially guilty of this. Their nurturing side takes over and they attempt to do everything that needs to be done for the family, even tasks far above and beyond the call of duty.
That doesn’t help your children or your partner. It disempowers them and prevents them learning vital coping skills. Also, if you are almost constantly available and then suddenly you don’t feel like helping out, this can frustrate your family members and make them angry, especially if your anger erupts at them for not doing a task which you have always done.
3. Establish a rota or routine
Just how formal you want to be about this will depend upon your family set up. The point is that household tasks should be divided up. Even quite young children can get a huge sense of achievement by doing small tasks to help out.
Sure at first it might make more work for you as you have to teach them how to do it and supervise. But you and your children can benefit from this far into the future.
4. Don’t expect telepathy
It could be that other members of your family simply don’t realise a task needs to be done. This can be frustrating in itself but try to remain calm and just say what needs to be done.
5. Ask for help
This point is linked to those above. Even if you have a well established schedule, sometimes tasks will crop up that aren’t covered. If you need someone to it for you or at least to help you, ask them. They won’t be offended and in fact are more likely to be offended when they see you doing the task later and you hadn’t mentioned it.
6. Be assertive yet reasonable
If you have asked someone to do something, you can’t necessarily expect them to jump right to it. Very few tasks need doing immediately, and if they do, you should say so. For instance, if you want the kitchen trash bin emptied because the trash cart is arriving soon, say so.
In the same way, if you want the children to tidy their rooms, set a reasonable time limit (probably in terms of days rather than hours or minutes) in which it needs to be done. Remind them periodically, and stick to your deadline. If it isn’t met, impose consequences.
7. Know people’s strengths and play to them
Try to make any task a group venture. Allocate tasks according to people’s strengths so that they find them easy to do. And play your part too.
Using these techniques can answer the question of how to get people to help you, whatever the situation. Try them and see.