I’ve been thinking a lot about asking lately. Asking for what you need from someone else. I don’t know about you but there are times when I seem to think I should get a badge of honor for going without what I need. I recently heard myself say, “I’m finally asking because I’m desperate”. Why did I have to get desperate?
The problem as I see it is we don’t want to feel vulnerable. What if I ask and they say no? How terrible would I feel if I’ve managed to peel away my brave face and was told I couldn’t or wouldn’t get what I need?
Recently I went to my primary care doctor when I felt “desperate” and in the middle of explaining my need, she interrupted me. In the 2.5 minutes we had just spent with each other, she had already decided she had heard enough. The thing was, she hadn’t heard enough but the fearful and vulnerable self inside me began to shut down. See? This is why we don’t ask. I felt the disappointment inside me and I felt myself begin to abandon the idea of getting help. However, maybe because I was desperate, I thought no, I have more to say. So I suddenly sat up straight and interrupted her. I politely explained what I felt I needed and why. I think that was the first time she looked me in the eye. To her credit, she apologized and the rest to the visit went well.
My point in all of this is that it shouldn’t matter what the other person does when we ask. It is in the asking, and in the effort to make ourselves heard that makes all the difference. We certainly can’t control if our doctor is having a bad day and feels impatient, or if the person we have chosen to ask something of doesn’t feel capable of providing it. We need to make the effort for ourselves, so that we know we are worth it.
What do you need that you are depriving yourself of? What do you want your badge of honor for going without? Allow yourself to ask. Maybe someone is out there just waiting to help provide you with exactly what you need.