Making the decision to get some help can be intimidating for many people. How do we know who to trust when it comes to our problems? For many people, the idea of trust is such a problem that they avoid getting help at all. Typically, their problems in their lives only worsen as a result of avoiding the help they need and they eventually find themselves in a desperate situation. Once you are desperate, you will accept help from anyone and you won’t have the luxury of choosing where to go. That’s why it’s important to be sensible and seek out help early before your problems get too bad. This will help you to avoid any serious problems and make the solution to the problem much quicker and easier. Anxiety typically comes about because of a lack of trust in the people around us. Although we can certainly say that there are a lot of trouble makers out there, it is also the rule that people typically exacerbate a problem when they become afraid and what might have been resolved quite easily becomes a very big ordeal. If you have a problem in your personal life and you need to get some help, ask around and get some references from other people who you already know. Many people are familiar with various counselors or therapists who they have had some kind of experience with or whom they know someone else has received excellent treatment. Many of the twelve step groups are also very helpful and it can be a lot easier to attend your first meeting if you go along with someone you have already met who can show you the ropes the first few times. If you still feel afraid to reach out and find some help, there are a few basic tips that you can use to maintain a sense of security as you journey out into this new world of self help. First, think about the questions you may have before you go out and meet a new counselor or group of people. Write down the things you want to ask them ahead of time so that you will keep a clear sense of your purpose for going there. This will also make it easier to remember your questions if you get into a state of anxiety along the way. Second, remember that it is ok just to listen and to allow the other person to do most of the talking the first time. You can tell them that you feel a bit “new” to all of this so you were planning on just listening on your first visit. Although you may have a few questions, you would prefer hearing everything they have to say about the process first and ask your questions later. When attending your first 12 step group, you can expect to be greeted by one or two people when you arrive but it is also quite normal for others to leave you alone when you first sit down. If someone introduces themselves, just be friendly and introduce yourself as well. Tell them this is your first night so you were going to just listen. If they offer to show you the ropes, be open to anything they wish to tell you and listen to their suggestions. Most people at a twelve step group simply want to help because they have found that it benefits them in their own life when they reach out to others and try to lend a helping hand. You may be surprised to find that the person who first frightened you at your first meeting turned out to be one of the most helpful people you ever met! After you get up the courage to try out a new place or a new person who can help you, make sure and congratulate yourself for facing one of your biggest fears in life. It is a very common fear among people seeking out help to be absolutely terrified about what the others in the room are going to “think” about them. Surprisingly, however, newcomers to the world of self help discover that the other people they meet have already seen hundreds of people like them before. Your problems are far from being as “unique” and “different” in the self help circle as you may think. You aren’t the center of the universe and most people will only be slightly interested to see you anyway. After a few visits, you will find that you feel a lot more comfortable and your problems weren’t nearly as scary as you thought.