Illustration: Jen Troyer

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It’s hard for most women to ask for help—we’re so used to saying "No, no, I got it, I’m fine!" while pushing a door open, holding a leash attached to a spasming dog and balancing a totem pole of packages, that most of us forget that even asking for help is an option. Then comes the day when you swallow your pride, screw up your courage and do it: You ask the favor. A furtive voicemail message: Could you possibly watch the kids? A tentative text: Any way we could switch shifts? In response, a parade is thrown to celebrate the brave way you’ve embraced vulnerability. No, not really. Really, there is only the longest, loudest silence of all times. People will act as if all their communication devices have fallen into the same enormous toilet, and that is how you’ll know they are telling you no. Stop checking for responses. Stop telling yourself it’s not fair. But don't stop asking for help—just try someone else.
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