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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Daily Dignity: Asking


(Can you spot the little red bird?)

Hello! Today's post is on dignity in asking for things. Now, before you start thinking that I'm going to tell you how to ask for stuff like a new iPod... I'M NOT! This is about stuff that is more important. I'm also mostly focusing on asking things from parents. But a lot of the principles apply to asking things of others, too.

 I think we've all heard of, seen, or done something like this:
 {Girl} "Mu-um, I want to wear make-up."
 {Mum} "No, you're too young."
 {Girl} "But all my friends wear it! I'm not too young, and I really want to!"
 {Mum} "Don't talk back to me. I won't let you wear make-up just because all your friends do."
 {Girl} "But Muuuuummmmm!!!!! I want to!"
 {Mum, sternly} "I said NO. Now stop being disrespectful!"
 {Girl} *Sulks.*

 {Narrator/me} "Do you think the girl approached her mum well? Do you think she acted with dignity? I don't think so."

 We need to show dignity when we ask for things. Especially important things. Here's a few tips on how (I got my Mum's input for some of these):

  • Go with a background. Don't just suddenly blurt it out because you just thought of it. Think over it first. Is this really what you want to have/do? Why? Is there any reason you can think of why you shouldn't do/have it? The person you ask is most likely to ask why? Have a good answer. Take some time to ponder, and then...
  • Pick a good time. Make sure the person is available and not busy. You may need to ask if you can have a chat.
  • Go with a request. Nearly the worst thing you can do is demand. Make sure it's a request.
  • Watch your tone. Don't ask with any hint of whining. Make sure you state your request seriously and with dignity.
  • Accept and respect authority. If you're asking something of someone who has authority over you, you need to respect that. Don't fight it. You can still state your reasons and try to persuade them gently, but don't fight. If you're asking something of someone who does not have authority over you, you still need to respect what they say.
  • Ask why. (You may feel it's better to do this another time.) If, first of all, they simply say 'no,' with no explanation, ask them why they said that. They probably have a good reason. Don't argue or get angry or whine or plead "but why no-ot???" Just ask them calmly, "why's that?"
  • If they still say 'no'... back off. Don't pester. If it truly matters a lot to you, you can still go through this process again, with an added, "I know I've asked you this before, but this still really matters to me, and I'm wondering if you would consider my request again." It's also a good idea to do some more thinking (and possibly research) about your request before you go asking again. Then the person can see that you do really care a lot, and that you're prepared to put in effort to get it (in a good way, of course).
 I'm going to share how I made a request to my Mum.
  1. I'd thought about it, but I hadn't thought about why I wanted to and why I maybe shouldn't do it.
  2. I picked a good time. We were alone on a walk.
  3. I'm pretty sure I went with a request. (It was a year or so ago.)
  4. I stated it seriously.
  5. She asked why. I hadn't thought about a reason why, so I had to form that thought on the spot.
  6. When she said no, I asked why.
  7. When she stated why, I backed off. 
  8. I still wanted what I had asked for, even months later. So I asked again.
  9. She said no again. Again I backed off.
  10. A little later (maybe a day or two) I again asked why she wouldn't let me, because I had forgotten. 
  11. Months later, I still wanted it. So again I asked calmly. This time she really knew I was serious, that it wasn't just a passing fancy.  Again she asked my reason. This time I had it ready. But she wasn't convinced enough to let me. She asked me to do more research.
  12. When I had done my research, I presented it to her. She was still hesitant. She again gave her reasons why, in greater depth. However, she saw that I still wanted it. We agreed to talk about it again in a week. She talked to Dad and others.
  13. In a week, I admitted that my desire had actually lessened, but not enough to not want it. She said that she and Dad had agreed to let me go ahead. And that was the end of my quest.
 Because I had asked calmly and with dignity; because I had come back to it without whining; because I was willing to put in some effort, it paid off. It will for you too!

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Awesome guest post coming up tomorrow! 





















1 comment:

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