Do You Regularly Get What You Want?
At Work, In Your Friendships, Relationships, And Life?
Let’s talk about how to effectively ask for what you want.
It’s so common for people who are struggling with social confidence to have a hard time asking for what they want. In fact, it can even be hard to know what it is you want in the first place.
All we know is what we don’t want, what we don’t like, who we don’t like, and who we want to avoid. We might even feel ashamed of what we want, or think we shouldn’t want something that we do.
What’s The Problem With “I Don’t Know”?
A very common response to the question of “What do you want?” is “I don’t know.”
More often than not, however, once we remove all the self-judgment and ideas about how you are supposed to be, it’s very easy to see what we want.
For example, I was recently working with a young man who was having challenges in his dating relationship. He felt excited to spend time with his girlfriend before they were together, but once they were hanging out he felt bored and agitated.
After several rounds of “I don’t know what I want,” he said this: “I want her to ask me more questions about me. It feels like I’m doing all the work and keeping the conversations going and she’s not that interested in me and my life.”
“Great!” I replied, feeling like we were getting somewhere.
“But…” he said with a sigh, “I’m so needy. I can’t ask for that. I mean, I know she’s interested in me – that’s why she keeps choosing to spend time with me.”
As quickly as he’d identified what he truly wanted, he then told himself he shouldn’t want that.
All of us do this – we squelch and suppress what it is we truly want because we think that makes us bad, selfish, needy, or any other judgment we have of this part of ourselves.
Instead of stuffing and attacking your needs and wants, what if you started to give yourself more permission to have them?
An Alternative – Ask For It!
What if you not only allowed yourself to feel what you wanted, but you also started to ask for it more?
Wait a minute – allowing it inside of myself is one thing, but asking for it is out of the question. That would make me seem needy, weak, insecure, and pathetic. No, it’s better to keep those to myself and not let on that I’m such a desperate bag of needs.
How well is this strategy working in your life? Are you getting what you want? Are you feeling good about yourself and completely satisfied in your relationships?
Most likely, if you’re disconnected from your wants, you’re just taking what you can get in your relationships and aren’t as satisfied as you could be.
The main block to asking for what we want is a fear of being judged or a fear of being rejected. If we focus on these two negative possible outcomes, it can make asking pretty difficult.
- But what if you focused on what you could get?
- What if the other person said yes and gladly gave you what you were asking for?
- What if the other person is wanting it too and is also hesitant to reveal themselves?
- What if you could be the bold one who’s willing to take the risk?
- What if you’re the leader?