What age do people embrace asking for help?

NEW YORK — The average adult finally feels comfortable asking for help when they turn 27, a recent poll shows. The survey of 2,000 adults finds those between 25 and 34 are most likely to reach out to others when they need help, while those over 65 prefer still to go it alone.

Of the 25 percent who don’t like asking for help, 51 percent of them prefer to be independent, 48 percent don’t want to be a bother to others, and 23 percent are simply too proud.

Relationships are the most uncomfortable subject to ask for help with (37%), along with finances (33%) and health (29%). However, people are much happier reaching out for assistance with work, their careers, and education. After reaching out for help at work, 57 percent felt it helped them progress in their careers.

People also feel it’s easier to ask for help when you are younger, rather than as an older person (28% vs. 21%) – as it’s more expected (69%), and you’re open to learning (43%).

“In business and in life, asking for help and advice is essential. But it’s not always easy to do, and in fact, can seem to be the most difficult thing in the world if you’re going through a hard time,” says spokesperson Susan Davies, head of business banking at Santander UK, in a statement. “It can be well worth it though, for as hard as it can be, asking for help means you can learn and grow – and hopefully avoid making a few mistakes along the way too.”

Manager or boss working with employee on computer
People are much happier reaching out for assistance with work, their careers, and education. (Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash)

The study also finds that 81 percent think it is sometimes easier said than done to ask for help, with one in six (16%) finding it tricky to do at work. Of these, 42 percent fear others will think they can’t do the job, while 35 percent worry what their boss or colleagues will think of them.

However, 34 percent have later regretted not asking for help in a workplace situation, with people under 24 most likely to feel this way. This resulted in half making a mistake at work while 13 percent were left with an unhappy customer.

The researchers also polled 500 adults, who run a business, and found 77 percent asked for help when they started out. More than half of these people (51%) asked for practical help — with many seeking advice about getting started, networking, managing staff, payroll, legal support, tax, and technology. However, 47 percent of those polled by OnePoll believe their business would have gotten off the ground even quicker had they asked for more help in the early days.

“It’s a no-brainer! Asking for help is like pushing on an open door, there are so many people and organizations out there willing to help, guide and support business owners. “I know how lonely it can be but having a mentor is one of the best ways to help you and your business, whatever stage your business is at,” says spokesperson Sarah Willingham, entrepreneur and “Dragons’ Den” star. “At each meeting, agree what you’re going to do and take action – no action means no change.”

72Point writer Gemma Francis contributed to this report.

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