Asking for what you want can be daunting. You may feel nervous that you’ll be rejected or that you’ll be seen as pushy or demanding.
Though if you don’t ask for what you want from time to time, feelings of resentment can build up. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, under-valued, and frustrated, it could be a sign that you’re not asking enough of the people around you.
Think of asking for what you want as a form of self-care. It is a powerful tool and can restore balance to your life.
To get what you want, it is important to effectively ask. Try these few tips to feel comfortable and empowered to ask for what you want.
First – Know What You Want
This may sound silly, but before you state your ask, it is key to know exactly what it is you want. If we’re not 100% sure of what we want, it can be easy for the other person to diminish our feelings or try to change our minds.
Think about what it is that you need to feel more happy and balanced. Whether that’s rearranging your schedule so you can go to that yoga class or having ten undisturbed minutes in the morning to meditate, consider what you need to feel healthier and happier.
Before you ask for what you want, know your position and stick to it. This will help you draw a line in the sand and feel confident in your ask.
Frame Your Ask
Be Clear and Specific
This is a big one. It can be intimidating to ask someone for something, whether that’s a promotion at work or for your partner to help out more around the house. Since we can feel anxious and nervous to ask our question, the words can come tumbling out in a complicated and tangled clutter.
This can lead to a lack of understanding which in turn could mean that your ask is pushed aside or ignored.
So the next time you ask for something, be clear and specific. Instead of, “Can you send me that report when you have a moment?”, frame the ask as, “Could you please send me the report by 3 pm Wednesday?”.
People are more likely to respect and respond to your ask if they know exactly what it is.
As women, we tend to be conditioned to deliver “soft” asks and follow it up with a “no worries if not!”. By doing this, we weaken the validity of our request and give the person an easy out to say no. It’s time to have the courage to boldly ask for what you want!
As speaker and author Margie Warrell puts it in her article for Forbes magazine, “Think about what your ideal outcome would be and then confidently, courageously, ask for it. Not in an entitled way. Not in an aggressive way. But in a way that conveys that you know your worth.”
Other people aren’t mind readers, so it is key to be direct with our asks. Hints and side comments usually won’t cut it.
Make sure you have the full attention of the person you are speaking to and directly and confidently state your ask. It doesn’t have to sound aggressive or harsh – you can add some lightness and humor to your request.
Instead of comments such as, “It would sure be nice if you helped me clean the kitchen every once in a while” directly ask your partner, “Could you please help me clean the kitchen tonight?”.
It Will Be a “No” Sometimes – and That’s Ok.
Sometimes you can follow every tip and trick in the book, but you will still receive a “no” response. Try not to feel disheartened and decide which followup path to take.
You could decide that your ask is too important to be ignored and that you need to walk away from the situation. Try and walk away without burning any bridges and go back to the drawing board to find another way.
Or you can work with the other person to find a solution. Perhaps you can’t get exactly what you want, but you may be able to take one more step towards your goal.
Try not to get down on yourself if you do hear a no. There is usually always a way.
The Bottom Line
There is power in asking for what you want. By practicing effectively asking for what we want, we will feel lighter, more balanced, and find that we can accomplish more.