"Asking for What you Want: Why
is it so Difficult?"
By Susie and Otto Collins
Recently, Susie took her mother who has Alzheimer's
disease to the hospital for an out-patient procedure to be done.
They had to wait for 3 hours and to pass the time, they watched
the nurses go about their duties and the other patients coming
As they laughed and made up stories about the people, Susie
noticed an elderly woman being seated in one of the cubicles,
waiting her turn to get treated. The woman appeared to be
shivering because she only had a short-sleeved shirt on and
the temperature in the room was a bit chilly.
When a very kind nurse asked the woman if she wanted a
blanket, the woman shook her head with a "no" and said that
she had left her jacket with her daughter in the waiting area.
As we watched this woman, she continued to sit with her arms
wrapped around herself, and it appeared that she was very
Susie couldn't help thinking that if the woman had only
accepted the warm blanket as her mother had done or if
she had gone back out to the waiting area to get her jacket,
she would have been so much more comfortable as she
waited for her turn to have her procedure done.
Although we don't really know why the woman didn't choose
to either get her jacket or accept the blanket even though
she appeared to be very uncomfortable, we do know that
it appeared that she was unwilling to ask for what she
wanted and even accept help when it was offered to her.
What a relationship lesson this is!
Many people fall into the relationship trap of not asking
for help, thinking that they can do it all themselves and not
allowing themselves to receive. They may have the belief
that by not asking others for help, they are creating great
We think the opposite is true! Asking for help when you
need it and accepting the help of others actually opens
the door to connection and intimacy.
Sound strange? Here's why we say this...
Nothing quite feels as good as helping other people and
being appreciated for the help you give. If you are going
through life with the attitude that you can help others
but you won't let down your defenses to allow others
to help you, you are denying them the opportunity to
feel competent and be of service to you.
Our relationship works so much better when both of us
are willing to ask for help when we need it and ask for
what we want--when neither one of us either tries to "fix"
the other when they haven't asked or have the attitude
that we can do it all by ourselves with no help from the
Here are some suggestions that have worked for us in
asking for what we want:
1. First, find out what you want and need and believe
that it is possible to ask and receive it. So many people
don't know what they want and even if they do, they
don't believe that anyone will give it to them. You have
to believe that it's possible to receive the help or whatever
2. Ask in such a way that the other person can hear the
request. Tell the other person what you are feeling and
why this is important to you. Choose a time when the
person will listen to you without distractions or ask for
that time. Make your request about what you need
and why you need it.
3. Give a clear request. Often, people take a round about
way to ask for what they want.
At our son's band banquet the other day, we sat across
from a couple who were talking about their high school aged
son. We heard the boy's mother tell his father that when
their son was talking about a fund-raising event that was
going to take place the next week, the boy was really hinting
that the father participate with him. She said that the boy
seemed to be afraid to ask his father outright.
Asking for what you want is the ONLY way you'll ever have
what you want in any area of your life.
We're suggesting that asking very clearly for what you want
will create better relationships and as the saying goes-- you'll
never know until you ask.
When you ask for what you want--who knows? You might even get it!
Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are
Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books
on relationships, including "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No
More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic"
and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great
relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on
love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles
like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips
newsletter visit http://www.collinspartners.com