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September 27, 2019
6 Tips For Asking For What You Need

Shift Team

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How To Ask Others

I don’t know about you, but the thought of asking others for what I need is extremely challenging.

I pride myself on being independent and self-reliant, but I’ve come to realize that a necessary part of that is being able to ask others for what I need from them.

Try to imagine this scenario: 

You’re on a date with someone you really like. You’ve been dating for a while and you’d like the relationship to be exclusive. You’re not sure if the other person shares your feelings. You’ve done some reflecting and it’s very important to you, so you decide it’s time to share your feelings and have a talk about exclusivity. 

This talk involves asking for something you need, in this case, exclusivity in the relationship. What’s so scary about that?

In my own case, I fear that I might be rejected.

So, how do I ask for what I need despite my fears? Below is a list of things that help me prepare. Give them a try.

  1. Check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling about this conversation? Do I know what I want out of it?”
  2. Map it out. Lay the key points you want to address out for yourself.
  3. Imagine how the conversation will go. Consider other perspectives-- try checking in with a trusted friend or family member and get their feedback.
  4. Take a deep breath before going in for this talk. When you’re anxious your brain forgets to think and your body goes into survivor mode. Help your body and brain calm down by taking a few deep breaths. Some mindfulness practice would also be super helpful here.
  5. Ask for what you need. Describe the situation and tell the person what you need (you can say something like “we’ve been seeing each other for a while now and I’m really starting to like you. I want to know where this is going. Do you see this becoming a long term relationship?”)
  6. Acknowledge yourself. At this point, no matter what happens, remind yourself how brave you were to ask for what you need. 

Remember, if we don’t ask for what we need, we won’t ever receive it. However, the other side of that means we also need to accept that it’s the other person’s right to say no. Whatever happens, at least we have the answers we need.

As always, you’ve got this!

This article was written by Vivian Zhang during their time at Shift Collab.

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