Make it easier to ask for what you want by adopting these 5 tips.
- Know yourself
- Be consistent
- Value opinions
- Be unattached to the outcome
Asking for what you want may feel uncomfortable and awkward, which may mean you try to avoid it no matter how badly you want help.
Sadly without asking, you can’t get your needs addressed. People are not mind readers, although sometimes we all behave as if they were. For more insight have a look at my article Why You Don't Ask For Help And Why Other's Don't Offer
There are many reasons you might not ask. Perhaps because you are:
- Too proud
Unfortunately, when you don’t ask for help, you could end up feeling:
And sadly adopt self-defeating behaviour such as:
- Martyr syndrome
- Giving people the cold shoulder
So, let’s break through all those barriers and embrace how you can make it easier to ask for what you want on yourself.
And remember, practice will give you the experience and confidence to take bolder steps and be more assertive with your asks.
1. Know yourself
Knowing yourself is a form of confidence.
When you know who you are, you build a firm foundation to understand what you want.
- Understand what makes you tick
- Get comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses
- Know what you stand for by being clear about your values
You see, the more you know about yourself, and the more self-aware you are about your limitations, the better you can be at interpersonal relationships. When you’re self-aware, your authenticity shines through. As a result, you not only behave more confidently, but you are more confident as you are at ease with yourself.
Confidence reduces our negative traits - like arrogance, aggression, and playing the victim. And you make it easier to ask for what you want.
People who know themselves well are decisive and self-assured. They ask for help when they need it and are less likely to be unnecessarily needy or over-reliant.
This increases the likelihood they will get what they want and need.
2. Be Consistent.
We are all creatures of habit and tend to respond to the same triggers if repeated often enough.
The same is true when you are consistent with your expectations, especially if clearly expressed.
In the workplace, we all want a sense of calm. No drama’s here, thank you! When you are consistent, your colleagues will be able to predict your behaviour and may help out without being asked.
Even at home, your consistency brings greater harmony to your relationships. Those you live with will better predict your behaviour and be more willing to help out without being asked.
Every week you do the weekly shopping. You return with your load of heavy bags. You’ve already had to lug the whole lot out of the shop and into the car. The last thing you want to do is unload it again at the other end.
However, if you consistently ask for help unloading the car - and show cheerful gratitude for their help - before long, the family will start meeting you at the car when you get home.
Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to have others volunteer to help you without being asked?
When you are consistent with what you ask for, you reap the rewards and get what you want without stress.
Make it easier to ask for what you want by being consistent.
3. Value Opinions.
People value us for what we value.
Often we associate with those who reflect our value system. But even when there is a difference of opinion, you can still respect their views. When you are inclusive and concerned about the needs of those around you, others will do likewise.
In an environment of mutual respect, different views can be expressed and listened to. By promoting a positive environment, everyone has the freedom to say what is on their mind.
You don’t need to agree. Should you disagree with someone, do so politely and restate your view. Sometimes it is best to adopt the ‘beg to differ’ approach.
At work, people trust and respect those who value the contribution of others. Be a role model for those around you by setting an excellent example. When others see how you make it easier to ask for what you want, they’ll all want to do the same.
4. Be unattached to the outcome
We don’t always get what we want, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask.
When asking a question, no must be an acceptable answer. Otherwise, it isn’t a question - it’s a command. Besides, nobody likes to feel forced into doing something they would prefer not to do.
Let’s face it; when someone agrees to something because they felt pressured to help, they will not do their best, and they might even end up resenting you.
Not the best outcome for a harmonious relationship – whether that’s at work or home!
Be comfortable with hearing the word “no” and moving on.
Asking for help and not getting it can be a bummer, but it’s also an important part of reality.
Sometimes people can’t help. Sometimes they won’t.
Being able to regroup, move on, and either ask someone else or find a different solution is the key. If you remain unattached to the outcome, you keep all your options open. None of us like rejection, but don’t beat yourself up with negative thoughts.
Don’t let yourself be crushed and turn a rejection into personal pain. Usually, a no is not personal. You don’t always know what the other person has on their plate or if what you are asking them to do is outside their comfort zone.
Make it easier to ask for what you want by not getting caught up in the emotion of asking and automatically expecting a YES.
5. Practice, Practice Then Practice Some More
Sometimes, asking for what we want can be uncomfortable. There are many reasons why you don’t ask for help, and others don’t offer
If this is you, I recommend you start small and build up to more significant asks. You can find more guidance in my article How To Overcome Fear And Ask For What You Want.
Make it easier to ask for what you want by practising. Practice makes perfect. Even if it begins with you talking to yourself or in front of a mirror – as described in my article, Ask Yourself Out Loud To Clarify What You Want.
Practice asking. Try small, safe asks, and work up to big, bold asks whenever you can.
This is like learning a new language. Asking has its own way about it, and over time you will get the hang of it.
These tips will ensure you have the foundation and the mindset you need to ask for what you want and build wonderful relationships. You’ll be living a life where asking and being asked go hand in hand. And you will have the tools to make it easier to ask for what you want in the future.
Do you know who you are and what you stand for?
Explore your strengths and weaknesses; my free strengths worksheet will give you a quick and easy way to determine them.
If you want to discover more about yourself, then sign up for my course Discover You. You can find out more about the course if you click here.
If you aren’t sure what you want, try the exercise in my article Ask Yourself Out Loud To Clarify What You Want. At the end of that article, there’s a useful section on how to ask for help that you will find useful.
Start small and build yourself up. The exercise I include in How To Overcome Fear And Ask For What You Want is helpful.
Once you are clear on what you want, then practice asking. Try to ask for something you want daily. You don’t need to always ask for something big, but the more you do it, I promise it gets easier.
And, dare I say, it also gets easier when people say no!
What Do You Stand For?
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