Do you ask for what you want?
If you have trouble for asking what you want, I imagine that one of these issues might resonate with you:
Issue #1: You don’t want to be an inconvenience
Issue #2: You don’t want to be rejected
I have a solution that addresses both of these issues!
It lies in the distinction between requests and demands. Demands are the kinds of things where someone thinks they will be punished if they say ‘no.’
Do you think you make demands or requests most often?
read more about nonviolent communication here
In a society where power over (vs. power with) is the paradigm, demands are normalized.
ESPECIALLY in relationships where the power dynamics are overt such as parent-child, employer-employee or client-business.
Has someone ever ‘asked’ you do to something, and you knew you had no choice but to do it?
THIS is the energy of a demand dressed up as a request.
Alternatively, have you ever asked someone to do something and after they said no, you punished them in thought, word or action?
In this case, you were making a demand in disguise.
On both the giving and receiving end of a demand, it’s not high vibe. To be honest, it kind of sucks.
So let’s loop back to those two issues that you might resonate with if you have trouble asking for what you want.
If you don’t want to be an inconvenience and/or if you don’t want to be rejected, consciously or subconsciously you might be thinking about making a demand.. and you don’t feel good about it.
So you might choose not to ask (aka demand) what you want because you don’t wat to be a part of that oppressive energy.
However! There is another way to not be a part of that oppressive energy AND get what you want!
The solution is to take responsibility for your needs.
Find a list of universal human needs here
For example, say you have a need for support that could be met by your partner picking up groceries on their way home from work. To ensure that your request isn’t a demand in disguise, you need to fully understand and take responsibility for your NEED for SUPPORT, not your STRATEGY of GROCERY PICK UP.
If you don’t take responsibility for your need, this could happen:
Your partner says they can’t pick up groceries on the way home, and you get upset because ‘I’m the only one who does anything around here!’
There is another option!
If you take responsibility for your need for support, this could happen:
Your partner says they can’t pick up groceries on the way home, and you share with them how you are needing support and ask (NOTE! NEW REQUEST!) if there is anything else they might be able to take off of your plate so that you can go get the groceries.
When you make a request, you are asking someone to participate in a strategy to meet your needs.
When you detach from one particular strategy and instead focus on your need, there are SO many more strategies that can be explored! Open yourself up to that spaciousness and co-create with the people around you!
When you make a true request, you
Honour the other person’s Sovereignty,
Honour your own Sovereignty,
Practice power with, and
Receive joyfully (because you know that someone is saying ‘yes’ because they want to, not because they think they have to).
Week 2 of the Compassionate Communication Masterclass Series is all about self-expression and making requests! Please consider joining us!
This post is inspired by the work of: