Confidence / Style

How To Be A Woman: Asking

Being a woman is hard. In this series we’ll master the challenges and learn the tricks to getting it right. Um, that’s only if it’s OK with you of course.

Today, we’ll learn how to ask for what you want.

Asking For Something You Want

When asking for something for yourself, it’s important to make it ridiculously easy for the other person to say no. Preface your request with multiple qualifications. If possible, come up with well-argued reasons why they should refuse you.

If done correctly they should feel that saying yes would be irresponsible, idiotic, and quite possibly criminal.

Example

It’s totally OK if you can’t, because I would completely understand, and I know you’re really busy right now and you have your own shit going on, and to be honest I could always do it myself, no trouble at all, so I don’t want you to feel bad if now’s not a good time, but do you think you could pass the salt?

Asking For Something To Be Remedied

If you’re asking someone to correct or acknowledge an error, then preface your statement with the word sorry.

This will clear up any confusion and establish that the fault actually lies entirely with you.

Example

Sorry, but in performing the appendectomy you seem to have also removed my arm.

Asking For Something You’re Entitled To

It’s always best when asking for something you have every right to, to justify yourself extensively. This will help alleviate the uncomfortable feeling you may experience, an unfamiliar OKness, that can unsettle and confuse you.

You need to make it clear that asking for something you deserve is totally unacceptable behaviour, and boy do you know it.

Example

I’d like my money back for this toaster that’s missing a power cord, please. I bought it for my mother and she really likes toast so I think she would need one that works better. I would have brought it back earlier but I was sleeping and the store was closed and it was nighttime, so this is really the earliest I could make it. I understand maybe I could have brought some bread and tested it before I made the purchase, but I didn’t think of that, although now I realise I really should have…

Asking In Person Or By Phone

It’s a good idea when asking for something in person or by phone to speak in a tiny little voice. Make it almost impossible for the other person to hear you.

If you can pull it off, opt for a childish tone as well, to further undermine any lingering credibility.

Example

*inaudible*

Asking By Email Or Text

If asking in writing it’s important to add copious smiley faces and exclamation marks and the occasional well-placed lol.

These visual tricks are an excellent way to communicate that you know your request is an abomination against humanity, without having to type it all out in words.

Example

Hi Mary!! How are you? 🙂 Hope you are WELL!!! I was wondering if you could please come and pick up your dog when you get home. He dug up our yard again, that silly scamp!!! 😉 🙂 He’s clamped onto my neck now and to be honest I think he’s got my carotid, because there is A LOT of blood lol. Thank you!! 🙂  PS Hope you guys are GREAT!  🙂

Advanced Asking Strategy

Once you’ve mastered these foundational woman skills, so that every time you ask for anything you undermine yourself in as many ways as possible, you’ll be ready to kick it up a notch.

The advanced skill is to overcompensate for your passive, hyper-apologetic, faux-nice manner of asking by following it up with a dose of unprovoked aggression or irrelevant personal insult. You’ll be feeling so frustrated by all the self-effacement that you’ll need to release some pressure – do it this way and you’ll sabotage yourself even further.

Examples

And by the way, you could really stand to lose a few kilos

Have I told you I never liked that shirt on you?

Wow, you smell.

In Summary

For a woman, asking for something is fraught with challenges.

But with these handy tips you can avoid the trap of thinking that to want something is a legitimate feeling, and to ask for it is a reasonable strategy.

Image: J-doll Piazza Cavalli by Eirien under CC by 2.0

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