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How do I overcome my fear of bothering people?

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Hi Mark,

I have a problem with asking people for something, almost like I think I'm bugging them, to the point that I just avoid asking the person altogether. I think listening to 'Fear of the Phone' helped, but I figured it's more a fear of being bothersome, even if someone left a voicemail and is expecting my call.

It's very hard to explain.

This question was submitted by 'Goran'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Goran and thank you for writing in.

Worrying that you might be bugging and bothering people by asking them for what you need is, I'm guessing, diminishing the quality of your life and even the lives of people around you.

Botherphobia (a term I just invented) can really stop you getting what you need, but also prevent having honest and clear communication with people. This is an issue of assertiveness and perhaps self-esteem. I suggest you take a look at my articles '5 Golden Keys to Assertiveness and Setting Boundaries' and 'Are You Too Nice?'.

You exist in the world, you take up space, that's a fact, and a good fact. : ) You are meant to be in the world, to have a voice, and, like all of us, you have your needs. One need we all share is to feel needed. When you ask for something you need or would like, you are not only helping yourself, but also giving someone else the opportunity to meet their vital need to feel needed. Who are you to deprive others of this need? ; )

I suggest you start small. Make a point of asking for small things of others here and there. Perhaps just three times a week to start. As you are doing that, remember that the whole of human culture, community, and civilization is based on reciprocation and we all need to keep that principle active and alive.

I hope these words prove useful.

All my best,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - June 5th, 2014 in

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