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Lynne
Lynne

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Asking for Help for Introverts

Over the weekend, it was brought to my attention (when asked about my learning progress) that I don't ask many questions or ask for much help. I didn't really know how to respond to that. I'm not even going to downplay it--learning JavaScript is hard for me. It got me thinking, I know have questions. Why don't I just ask? I believed that if I figured things out on my own, I wouldn't have to ask for help. I have such great support from this community and my family in tech. So I felt that I should figure out what's going on in my brain and do my research of why I don't ask questions and what I can do to educate myself to make this learning journey better.

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I had to come to an understanding that I am an introvert. I get stuck in my thoughts way more than I should. So I already know that asking for help is hard.

I found this great article, "8 Reasons Introverts Might Find it Difficult Asking For Help" by Andy Mort, that explained . . . well, me! Here's his list of the whys:

  1. You Tell Yourself that You Have it Easy Compared to Others
  2. Fear of Rejection
  3. You’ve Experienced Dependency in Other People
  4. You Don’t Want to Feel Like You Have Burdened Someone Else
  5. Reciprocity
  6. Fear of Losing Control
  7. A Belief in Self-Reliance
  8. Overwhelmed by the Potential Energy Drain

After reading this article, I couldn't believe how ALL of these reasons pertained to me and how I felt about asking for help. Different reasons for different problems, but I've experienced every single one of these feelings. Especially while I'm learning JavaScript.

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I realized that's not a bad thing to ask for help or a burden to ask questions. It was my own fear that prevented me from being courageous and relying on other people for support. I really should be asking my questions when I don't understand something. Asking even saves time!

For example, I started #JavaScript30 last week and here's a snippet of my code:

function playSound(e) {
    const audio = document.querySelector('audio[data-key="${e.keyCode}"]');
    const key = document.querySelector('div[data-key="${e.keyCode}"]');
    if (!audio) return;

    key.classList.add('playing');
    audio.currentTime = 0;
    audio.play();
}
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It took me more than an hour to figure out why the code wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. This wonderful community of experienced devs could have told me it was something as simple as mistaking an apostrophe for a backtick. I really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism, but I just find it difficult to ask for it. I just have to keep reminding myself, there's no such thing as a stupid question.

Last Week's Accomplishments:

  • Started building JavaScript projects with #JavaScript30

Check it out:

On My Mind:

  • Does anyone have learning tips for introverts in this field? How do you put yourselves out there?

Until next time!
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Discussion (2)

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seowyanyi profile image
Seow Yan Yi • Edited on

One mindset shift that worked for me was making it less about me and more about others.

  • framing the 'asking for help' as speeding up my own learning - so I can actually contribute more to the team faster.

  • documenting down what I learnt so that knowledge can also be shared with others in future

And also... reminding myself about the additional trouble I'll need to go through if I don't ask for help. 😅
Sometimes all we need is a good reality check.

Hope that helps!

PS: Recently I started a blog (evolvingengineers.com/) to help engineers communicate confidently and effectively. You might find the articles useful :)

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ender_minyard profile image
ender minyard • Edited on

I'm an introvert and I ask for help a lot, from anyone and everyone. I guess my advice is to focus on the end product and making sure you successfully finish the thing you're working on.