1- Being dramatic versus sober (10 unproductive ways to ask for help)


Communication is often all we have to make change happen. According to my clients, communication is one of my great strengths. According to my daughter, it’s my most horrible weakness. And it’s true. I can be clear, direct, patient, witty, thoughtful, understanding, light, neutral, empathetic and loving in my communication. I can also be confused, angry, impatient, mean, cynical, critical, sulky, indulgent, melodramatic, beseeching and shut down. It’s a humbling task to constructively communicate and find a centered voice. Frankly, it’s a full-time effort. But as the wise cross-cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, Ph.D used to simply say: “The great news with communication is that we can always skill up.”

Building on the two cartoons of my blog Asking for help in the XXI century, I found it amusing to add eight more unproductive ways to communicate and ask for help. I associated each unproductive way with a positive attribute.

I will post one cartoon a day for 10 days and invite you to reflect on them in your own life. You will see that you can use them as guideline to improve your communication, as long as you don’t forget to be humble and persistent – like me.

Enjoy Day 1!


Reflecting on this cartoon, choose a situation in which you could be either dramatic or sober when asking for help. Notice the differences, and if you’d like, share them with me.
























1- Being dramatic versus sober (10 unproductive ways to ask for help)

6 Responses

  1. never met anybody like that I think. Or did I?

    Marc-Andre January 29, 2015 at 11:21 am #
    • Personally, the melo-drama way is specific to my couple communication.

      Carole Lévy January 29, 2015 at 1:49 pm #
  2. This image made me laugh out loud! Our poor partners get the worst of our behaviors, don’t they? The drama is so much more entertaining than getting the paperwork done or making the calls; I’d really hate to give it up!

    Kim February 17, 2015 at 9:42 am #
  3. Carole,

    As someone who really struggles with asking for help, I’ve used every one of these unproductive ways to ask for help. Thank you for this enlightening and helpful series!

    I would like your permission to reprint your “10 Unproductive Ways to Ask for Help” in our NSTec newsletter. I would include one of the 10 ways each week, note that these are reprinted with permission from the author, and include a short bio on you that references the Bumpy Road to Collaboration and a link to your blog.

    Can I get your permission to do this?

    Thank you for considering this request. (Going back through the 10 ways to see if I’m doing one or more than in asking for your help !!!)


    Shari Morrison February 17, 2015 at 10:53 am #
  1. 2- Being self-deluded versus realistic (10 unproductive ways to ask for help) | Carole Lévy - January 29, 2015

    […] days to improve communication and tackle  ten unproductive ways to ask for help. Here is Day 1, if you missed it. Enjoy Day […]

  2. 10 Unproductive Ways to Ask for Help – Recap! | Carole Lévy - February 16, 2015

    […] After 10 days of an active social media life, I needed a break last week. You probably needed one too. Interestingly, it felt “exposing” for me to post a blog every day for ten days, and I think I had a “vulnerability hangover”, as Dr Brené Brown puts it. It has passed and it’s time to recapitulate. […]

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