“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
~ Brené Brown, Daring Greatly
Monday 9 May 2016
“Would you make my coffee this morning?”
It was a super busy morning and I needed help to stay on track with getting out the door. Help on that morning was simple. A cup of coffee to put in a to go mug.
One of my definitions of maturity is the ability to ask for what you need.
Whether from a friend, an employer or a significant other, asking to have a need met can be challenging.
Why is it so hard to ask for help?
Because asking takes courage and skill.
The reasons that we don’t ask can range from a negative expectation that the need will go unmet to a more complex belief that if we have to ask, the met need will be less valuable. Admitting need can make us feel vulnerable. We may even have a subconscious belief system that says we are unworthy of having our needs met.
Honestly, that cup of coffee had less to do with coffee and more to do with the questions:
Do you see me? Are we connected? Will you come through?
Sometimes we fear being rejected and sometimes we just don’t know how to ask.
Let’s get practical. Here’s my list for how to get your needs met in a relationship.
- Ask the right person
Reaching out well, begins with reaching out to the right person. Is the person you’re asking someone who is committed to your success? Is this someone whose story is connected to yours in a healthy fashion? Are you asking for help from someone who has integrity and is trustworthy?
2. Expect the best
It’s easy to write a negative story about someone else. Then, when they don’t come through, we’re not surprised. Expecting the best in others takes courage and trust.
3. Assume Responsibility for your own story
You know what you want and what you need. You know where your limits are and where you need help. Ask and let the other person respond. If they say no, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you, it means they said no. Don’t expect the other person to mind read. Stay in your own story – which is the only story that you are in control of.
4. Be specific
My request for coffee came with written instructions. I like my coffee a certain way and my husband is happy to accommodate when I ask. He actually likes knowing how to get it right. Asking with practical specifics forces us to identify what we need and makes it easy for someone to come through.
5. Make room for No
Leave space in the interaction. Space to be met and space for the other person to say No. No doesn’t mean, “I don’t love you.” No means no. It can be a simple, “I can’t right now.”