Many things can get in the way of asking others for help: Fear of rejection. Fear of imposing. The pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mythology so ingrained in American culture.
But new research suggests many of us underestimate how willing — even happy! — others are to lend a helping hand.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science this month, included six small experiments involving more than 2,000 participants — all designed to compare the perspectives of those asking for help with the perspectives of helpers.
Across all of the experiments, those asking for help consistently underestimated how willing friends and strangers were to assist, as well as how good the helpers felt afterward.