March 4

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Good Things Happen When You Ask For What You Want

By Alison

March 4, 2021

ask for what you want

Good things happen when you ask for what you want.  You will feel valued, respected and confident. You're able to gain things you like and get the support that makes life easier.

The first step is to gain complete clarity about what you are asking for, and being self-aware can help you with this.

If you don't ask for what you want, then you may feel resentment and frustration.  Resentment can fester and become a struggle to deal with.  The internal battle can lead to feelings and behaviour, such as:

  • Feeling unfulfilled
  • Martyr syndrome
  • Passive-aggression

Okay, let's start with the bad news.  What issues arise if you don't ask for what you want.

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When you don't ask for what you want, you're left frustrated and unsupported

The Internal Struggles

Good things happen when you ask for what you want. But, if you don't ask for what you want, you may adopt self-sabotaging behaviour that impacts your

  • happiness
  • damages your relationship with others
  • undermines your confidence

Here are three ways that failing to ask for what you want can play out.

1.  Feel Unsupported

When you don't ask for help, you can often feel unsupported by those closest to you, whether at home or work.  It can feel as if you always give and compromise without getting anything in return.  But the reason this happens is because no-one is aware of what you want.  Unfortunately, people are not mind readers. 

Only a very tiny segment of the population is micro-focused enough to see when someone needs help.  A lot of people are entirely unaware.  Not because they don't care, but they're engrossed in what is going on in their world.  Often they falsely assume you don't want help or someone else will step in to offer the needed assistance.

I explore this issue in my article Why You Don't Ask For Help, And Others Don't Offer.

If you want to feel supported, then you will need to ask directly for the help you need.  You will discover that good things happen when you ask for what you want.

2.  Martyr Syndrome

When you behave like a martyr, you are struggling with a complex psychological issue.  You may find that you need a lot of validation and approval from people around you.  Sadly those who take on the role of a martyr tend to suffer unnecessarily. 

Good things happen when you ask for what you want.  But without asking for help, a martyr will continue to suffer from the problem rather than fix it because martyrs get some form of fulfilment from the suffering in the first place.  A victim mentality grows as a result. Usually, this is a sign of underlying depression and fear.

The problem lies in having high expectations of those around you, but rather than state what you want; you rely on others knowing what they are.  Sadly, when the other person fails to meet the standard, martyrs tend to sulk, pout, or even act cold towards people rather than talk about it.

In frustration, they whine and complain to others rather than communicate with the right person. And so the expectations remain unsatisfied.  Ultimately it leads to strained relationships as others sense the underlying resentment and anger.

Low self-esteem and an inability to communicate their expectations are the root cause.

If you want to learn more about Martyr syndrome signs, I found this article 10 Signs On How To Recognise Someone With Martyr Syndrome  useful.

If you are concerned about whether you could be a martyr, this article from Wikihow might help.  How to Overcome Martyr Syndrome: 14 Steps may be useful.

Passive-Aggressive Behaviour

Passive-aggressive behaviour is an indirect resistance to others' demands and an avoidance of direct confrontation.

There may be a fear or a lack of confidence in expressing frustration or annoyance to someone face-to-face.  Instead, people can resort to silently aggressive or sabotaging behaviour.  Sadly, this behaviour perpetuates the anger they feel and can cause rifts in relationships.

The problem is that passive-aggressive behaviour is hard to spot.  But here are some tell-tale signs

  • A colleague misses you off an email and then forwards it too late for you to take action
  • Someone who turns up late to meetings because, in reality, they don't want to be there
  • Insincere compliments such as; I like your hairstyle, I had mine cut like that when I was younger

Passive-aggression can be a learned behaviour.  Perhaps you live or work in an environment that does not encourage people to speak up.

The only way to overcome this is to learn to ask for what you want and make your feelings clear by communicating with people directly when they upset you.

a woman smiling showing how good things happen when you ask for what you want

Ask for what you want - you'll be happier as a result

The Benefit Of Asking For What You Want

Being able to ask for what you want removes these struggles.  You then open the possibility to higher-quality relationship and personal satisfaction.

Good things happen when you ask for what you want, but when you fail to do so, you remain unfulfilled.  And it leaves you feeling unhappy.

So if you want to feel better, happier and more fulfilled, taking the brave step to ask for what you want is the answer.

Good Things Happen When You Ask For What You Want.

When you ask for what you want, good things do happen.  Here are three examples of just that.

1. Feel Valued

People who ask for what they want generally receive it. 

If you don't ask, you don't get – right? 

It can be as simple as choosing your favourite restaurant on date night or watching a film you've been dying to see.

When you ask for what you really want, you fulfil your heart's desire.

When you ask for something and are clear about your wants in the workplace, other people know what they need to do.

For example, you are writing a report for your manager.  This report needs data from other sources.  When you are clear about

  • What data is needed
  • Reason for your request
  • Deadline for completion

You can ask for the help you need and get support from others.  The result is a comprehensive report delivered to your managers expectations and within the timescale required.  There is a feel-good factor in providing what you set out to do, and you feel that you have value to the business.

A double win to feeling valued.

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When you ask for what you want you form strong relationships based on trust and respect

2.  Respect

When you are direct, you know what you want and comfortably ask for it.  With the necessary please and thank yous!

There is no ambiguity, and people know where they stand. 

There is no underlying motive.  People don't need to fill in any gaps.  To try and second guess what you want.  The request is delivered objectively and becomes a statement of fact. 

For the recipient, this reduces stress and anxiety. When you behave in this way, you become trustworthy and reliable.  People like to work with you, and you inspire their respect. 

Good things happen when you ask for what you want, and if you have aspirations to become a good leader, trust and respect are essential.  Consequently, you build good relationships with your team and others in the organisation.

3.  Confidence

The knowledge that you are valued and respected builds on itself and causes your confidence to blossom.

Being a well-functioning person is attractive and rewarding.  The petty things in life don't get in your way as you can ignore them.  You avoid self-sabotaging behaviour that could undermine what you want.  Also, you don't get weighed down or have reason to doubt yourself. 

The result is you become more successful and happier in what you are doing.  You perceive setbacks as minor issues to be overcome and worked through to a successful conclusion.

People enjoy working with confident people.  And with confidence, you tend to have more rewarding life experiences.

Of course, the material things that come from asking for what you want are fabulous – but the bigger prize is the development of strong relationships that are both rewarding and respectful.

After all, living your life with a sense of value and reciprocity is never a bad thing.

Next steps when read good things happen when you ask for what you want

Next Steps

IF you want to see how good things happen when you ask for what you want, here are a few suggestions.

1.  Build Self-Awareness

Asking for help requires clarity.  And for that, you would benefit from raising your self-awareness.  If you are unsure how to do this, my article 5 Powerful Ways To Increase Self-Awareness might help. 

2.  Journal

There may be reasons why you don't ask for help.  Perhaps fear, pride, overwhelm, confusion or a belief that it's easier to do it yourself stands in your way.  Consider the reasons why you don't ask for help and challenge your thinking. Confidence can reduce these feelings. 

Start a journal and explore these issues as they arise.  The great thing about a journal is that you can write your private thoughts and get it all out of your head. 

After a while, you might see patterns arise and discover ways to deal with the limiting beliefs that keep you stuck.

3.  Identify Self-Sabotaging Behaviours

Identifying the behaviours that are detrimental to you are challenging and difficult.  If you relate to any of the issues mentioned in this article

  • Feeling unfulfilled
  • Martyr syndrome
  • Passive-aggressiveness

Then you might want to consider professional help.  These deep-rooted conditions can't be solved independently, but getting to the cause can free you up to live the life you want to have.  Please don't struggle in silence.  You deserve to be happy.

4.  Ask Out Loud For What You Want

When you try to work through things internally, it can be challenging to get to what you want. Sometimes talking to yourself out loud can help.

Honestly, talking to yourself is not a sign of madness but a great way to gain clarity.  If you're not convinced, look at my article Ask Yourself Out Loud To Clarify What You Want – it does what it says on the tin!

Remember, good things happen when you ask for what you want.

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About the author

For years, despite career success, I was plagued with inner doubt. I worried about what other people thought. I became anxious about doing things wrong, felt out of my depth, and struggled with imposter syndrome. Above all, I feared failing. So, I worked long hours to prove myself worthy. It was exhausting, and it took a toll. My relationships suffered - my husband and I were becoming virtual strangers - and I had no social life. When the ravages of my doubts began to affect my health, I knew something had to change. I know there is a better way to live. Let me show you how.

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