Asking for What You Want

As much as we may try to be independent and responsible for ourselves, there inevitably comes a time when we have to ask someone for something we want.  

We might need a favor:  “I want to buy a desk on Facebook marketplace.  Can you help transport it with your truck?”

We might need a change in environment:  “We rarely use the small conference room.  Can I make that my office since it has windows?”   

We might need money:  “Considering my level of experience, comparable jobs are paying $10,000 more than what I’m currently making.  I’d like a raise.”

We might need support:  “I had a shitty day and I just need to vent to someone.”

Depending on what the request is and who we have to ask, asking for what we want can cause a ton of anxiety.  We might try to arrange the perfect conditions by inviting someone to lunch, prefacing the request with the right amount of backstory, or justifying the request with logical reasoning. 

When we think about asking for what we want, we tend to think about the person we are asking.   What will they think about my request?  Will they think I’m weird/crazy/(fill in the blank) for asking? Will I anger or upset them?  Will they give me what I want?

We don’t consider what this request means for us.  Asking for what we want is a form of honoring ourselves more than it is getting something from someone else.

When we have the courage to ask for what we want, we build a sense of trust and integrity in ourselves.  

When I ask for something, instead of approaching it like I need someone to give me something, I think of the phrase FOR ME AND.  Those words are capitalized on purpose.  They emphasize that this request is something I want for myself and an effort to communicate that desire to the other person.  That person has the option to say yes or no but the act of asking is me taking a stand for my own desires.

It sounds like this in my head: “This is what I want FOR ME AND so you know exactly what I would like.”

A request is simply communication:  nothing more, nothing less. 

If the answer is yes- awesome!  Action taken, desired results acquired.  Celebration and gratitude follow.

So what happens if the answer is no?  Disappointment, rejection, and tears?  Maybe a little.  But after that:  feedback and information.  

Avoid taking the rejection personally by seeing it as information.  This isn’t the way.  Course correct and try something else.  

Maybe it’s time to look elsewhere or start your own business if there’s no more room for financial growth at your current job.  Don’t resign yourself to another year of just getting by.

If a client says no to an offer, think about what may have gone wrong, learn from it, and try something different next time. Don’t stop making offers.

With time and practice, hearing a “no” after asking for something, doesn’t hurt so much.  “No” just becomes “not this way.”  

It’s guidance that we can use to move towards our dreams and desires, a detour rather than a dead end.


  1. Tina La Gala on June 9, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Yes but what happens when the answer is always no.
    Request after request but same answer no.
    How do you stop the anger, hurt, resentment toward that person if the answer is always no?

    • andreamullon on June 9, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      Hey Tina, I love this question.

      If you’re repeatedly getting a “no” from someone, I would take a closer look at what I’m trying to get. It’s usually not the “thing” but the feeling we believe that thing will bring us. What’s the feeling you want to have behind this request? Is there another way I can get that? Or another person that I can ask? Am I too attached to the way I think things should be? If so, can I loosen my grip to make room for another, more efficient, way?

      When we keep pushing harder, which is our natural tendency, we are often met with the same energy from the other person. We push, they push back, just like kids on a playground. Can you find a way to soften?

      I’m happy to talk to you more about it… anytime 🙂

  2. Keiko on June 9, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Absolutely, we can’t do it all even if we like to think we can (👉🏼🙋🏻‍♀️).
    I really like your advise about course correcting when you receive a “no”. Instead of taking it personally, take the wider view and look for other pathways, yes! I imagine this is a critical point where people get jammed up a lot. I know I have.
    When I allow myself to open up rather than shut down in those moments I find that these times in life are gifts in disguise and lead to change. Most likely change that I have been desiring even though it scares the hell out of me.
    Roll with punches, stay in flow, detour not road block! Well said, thank you!

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