5th Free Reading Unit.  Why It’s Hard to Ask People to Help You

Excerpt from article (Paragraphs 1 & 4)
1 Thinking about asking someone to help us is painful.   Researchers have found that when we feel physical pain, for example, if we hurt our leg, an area of our brain becomes active.  Surprisingly, that same area of the brain becomes active when we think about asking someone to help us.

4 According to Heidi Grant, a social psychologist and author of Reinforcements: How To Get People to Help You, there is no evidence that people will think less of us if we ask for help.  In fact, according to research, people will actually like us more if we do and like us more after they have helped us.

(This posting includes handouts which you are welcome to use with your students.)

See Select Category > ESL Reading Units Free: Reading for Insights (Introduction) for an introduction to these reading units.

Article & Study Guide for  Why It’s Hard to Ask People to Help You? (and excerpts)

Article, Study Guide, Reflection, Vocabulary & Answer Key:
Why It’s Hard to Ask People to Help You Reading Unit

Excerpts from Paragraphs 10 & 13
How to ask for help (sometimes)
10 Grant tells about a psychologist, Vanessa Bonds, who conducted a study to see how willing strangers would be willing to help someone.

How not to ask for help and how to ask for it
13 Some people start by greatly apologizing, for example, “I’m really sorry to bother you because I know you are very busy and I feel badly asking you to help me, but I’m really terrible at using software, so I wonder if you could help me?”  …

19 Finally, it’s important (and helpful if you would like more help in the future) if you let the person know what happened as a result of their help. 

See Select Category > ESL Reading Units Free for links to all the Free Reading Units.

This article is related to my previous posting Give your colleagues some brain pleasure. Ask them for help.


David Kehe

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