Requesting

Requesting There are two interesting measures of your power in the world and when you look at where we are with each of them, you can see how we rob ourselves.  And both of them deal with requesting.   The first is our ability to say “no” to requests made of us and, perhaps, simply measuring the number of those requests made of us. And the second is our ability to make requests of others. Of course, they’re related.  But let’s deal with them as if separate.  Here are some of the consequences of not being able to say no.  You rob yourself of the ability to contribute.  You feel that you’re being taken advantage of, that people are using you.  You have this sense of being a martyr; resentment builds.  And you have to hide all of that and are not even able to complain about it.  How can you, you said yes? How many noes will it take for you to be free of this?  I think only one.  The most important thing to see is that you aren’t saying no to the person, you’re saying no to the request.  We get the two mixed up.  When you observe that the requestor still feels the same about you, you’re cured, or at least have begun the cure.  Practice.  Oh, yes.  Here’s a crucial adjunct.  Just say no.  Do not give a reason.  You demean yourself by explaining.  In business, you always have to have a CYA statement.  No one believes you; they only believe your reason; it keeps you small. Now, since you feel that way about saying no, you must feel that that’s how someone will feel if you make a request of them.  You don’t want them to feel abused, resentful, obligated to you, and so forth.  You simply don’t want to impose.  Going hand in glove with that is wanting to do it all, and do it all yourself, wanting to live up to a foolish standard of perfection – a combination of Superman and the Lone Ranger.  You rob them of their ability to contribute.  You actually think it’s easier to do it by yourself and you keep finding out it isn’t.  You complain about not enough time, never a minute to yourself.  You feel powerless. How can you learn to make requests?  You can make a request when you know the answer will be no.  Or you can make a request when you know the answer will be yes.  Or both.  Notice their reactions.  Notice yours.  How long will this take?  Maybe forever.  It won’t necessarily go away.  It may go away about certain area, but not with others.  Play.

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