Life as a 20-something is typically a whirlwind of confusion, and there isn’t always a rhyme or reason to how it pans out.
Sometimes we begin to experience that sense of comfort assuring us we are on the right path, only to be abruptly thrown off course by an unwelcome plot twist.
These years are often regarded as the perfect time to “try new things” and “explore what you want,” and doing this requires a sense of self-reflection.
Although introspection is critical here, it can also cause us to place a great deal of pressure on ourselves.
Since we feel obligated to figure it all out on our own, we are sometimes hesitant to recruit an outside source for support.
The truth is, our 20s are swarming in ambiguity. When guidance presents itself, don’t feel guilty about welcoming it.
Here are three things you should never feel too ashamed to ask for:
1. Empathy, even when you’re being slightly dramatic.
Our lives are fast-paced, filled with busy schedules and impending deadlines.
As we place our primary focus on our everyday obligations, it’s often difficult to take the time to truly talk about things that bother us.
This is where a good listener comes in.
After bottling up our emotions for days or even weeks, simply venting to a friend can feel like a weight lifted off of our shoulders.
Regardless of how significant the issue may be, it’s okay to unapologetically express how it makes you feel.
After all, ignoring a problem and distracting yourself may seem like a promising solution – but it will always find its way back to you.
So grab a real friend who will listen without judgment, and have a good old-fashioned venting sesh (preferably over wine.)
We often silence our concerns out of fear that it’s not important enough or worth talking about, but that silence will set you back much further than honesty ever will.
2. Closure, despite the fear of coming off needy.
Many things are left open-ended in our 20s, and our next move isn’t always as clear-cut as we would like it to be.
The question “where do you see yourself in 5 years” haunts us with anxiety, because we’re often unclear about where we’ll be in the next 6 months.
As this uncertainty prevails, we long for reassurance in areas where it’s feasible – such as relationships.
However, we often hold ourselves back from asking for that validation.
We worry about coming off as needy or overly dependent.
We perceive our desire for closure as self-defeat. We feel that we have failed ourselves by letting another person exert power over our emotions.
In actuality, the concept of loving yourself and letting another person in aren’t mutually exclusive.
While placing your happiness in another person’s hands is toxic, asking for clarity is necessary.
With so many blank answers surrounding you in your 20s, the way someone feels about you shouldn’t be one of them.
3. Feedback, regardless of how confident you want to appear.
In our professional lives, it can sometimes be difficult to muster up the courage for a simple “how am I doing?”
We want to appear readily capable and self-sufficient in our careers, and this makes us reluctant to ask for a reaction to our performance.
While constant check-ins are a definite no-no, don’t be afraid to schedule a performance-focused discussion from time to time.
Constructive feedback will not only ensure that you’re meeting expectations, but it will help you understand the actions you need to take to advance.
Rather than exuding a lack of confidence, your feedback request will showcase your initiative to grow.
Even outside of the professional realm, most of our avoided questions are rooted in the fear of coming across as insecure.
However, sometimes asking for help is the only way to push yourself closer to that sense of security.
And on that cliche journey to “find yourself,” nobody expects you to do it alone.