You don’t know what others are willing to do for you.
Or how badly they want to support you.
Or how desperately they’ve been longing for something that adds meaning to their lives.
Don’t hesitate – just ask!
The worst thing that can happen is they say “no,” but most people will still find a way to say “yes,” even when they mean “no.”
I’m not saying to take advantage.
What I am saying is your life is nowhere near as full or rich as it could be without others being meaningfully involved in it. You could have so many more areas of your life working for you that are presently not working or are on the backburner. You could have these areas working by virtue of accepting the contribution of others.
Put yourself into receiving mode and ask. See what happens.
The point is that you can make a request and have it answered.
Even in this crazy, messed world, with content overload and short attention spans, narcissism, and consumerism, it’s possible to get some support, even if it’s not all the support you need. And more support is just more conversations away. Which means you can always get the support you need. It’s just a matter of how many conversations you’re willing to have.
Now, to be fair, the post I really wanted shared (by you) was this one. Which is why context is important.
But given the meta nature of the post, it doesn’t hurt that the one titled “Please Share This” got shared more.
When we go to a restaurant, and want to eat, we must place our order.
When we need the support of friends, we need to ask them for what we need.
When we feel we’ve gone unrecognized in our jobs, we need to be able to speak up and ask for that raise.
The question is – how effective do you feel your ask is?
Do you always get what you want, the response you’re looking for, the resources you need to be able to complete a situation or project?
Or do you often find that your asks go unnoticed? Does it seem like they aren’t heard or responded to?
When we try to increase the effectiveness of our ask, we often try:
Rehearsing and polishing our request before making it
Being tricky in our communication, as if we were duping others into responding positively
Convincing and coercing others to go along with our request
Building up our “relational capital” so that when we make an ask, others feel obligated to respond
Reading books about winning friends and influence and turning it all into rote techniques
And so on
All this strangeness occurs because we are usually expecting a “no.”
And when we do get a “no,” we blame it on our looks, our unreasonableness, the specific way we asked, and a whole host of other things that fundamentally would have made no difference in the response we got.
So, we need to think differently about asking, and it’s simpler than you might think.
The first step to transforming your ask is to begin expecting a “yes” instead of a “no.”
That’s going to seem odd at first. Backwards even.
But that just goes to show you that either a) you’ve never done it this way before, or b) you have little practice with it.
When you go in expecting a “yes” instead of a “no,” it changes the way you communicate. And when the way you communicate changes, it transforms the hearing of others as well.
You don’t feel the need to do all that tricky, weird stuff you do when you’re starting from “no.”
The next step to transforming your ask is to be direct, bold, and unfiltered in how you ask.
When there is no weirdness in your ask, others tend to respond more favorably. It’s when you hold back information or go into “selling” mode that others become suspicious of what you’re trying to get them to do.
And then weird thoughts go off in the minds of the people you’re talking to:
Are they trying to get me to join their pyramid scheme?
Do they want me to clean all the bathrooms at the office?
Oh no… they’re in love with me, aren’t they?
Now, this doesn’t automatically mean direct, bold, unfiltered asks will always be responded to favorably.
But I can promise that you will feel more complete in the communication than if you had made an awkward, unclear, roundabout ask.
Successful people ask for what they want. And if you’re not getting what you want in life, you need to start asking.