Ask Dr. Joy: Demand or Request?

By WEEK Producer

March 14, 2012 Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 6:44 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Requests. Many people have them, but how many people are comfortable asking for what they want?
That is the topic of tonight's Dr. Joy.

It's not easy to ask, but some people are very good at making requests and so people make it sound more of a demand than a request.

First off, we need to look at what are some of the common things that keep us from asking for what we want.

* Fear: Many people don't ask for what they need or what because it makes them feel vulnerable, exposed, and risk being rejected. Many people say they feel insecure, inadequate and feel a loss of control when they make a request.
* Old patterns: Many people feel uncomfortable asking for their needs because they have been told it is not okay to ask, or perhaps they were told that they were undeserving, or for many they believe there will be negative effects of asking for needs. Some people feel they can't ask for their needs because it is demanding something that they don't deserve.
* Unclear desires: Many people have difficulty asking for what they need because they are unclear on the specifics of what they really want. When you make vague requests people are uncertain what you really want or need.
* Destructive thoughts: Many people don't ask for their needs because they create destructive thought patterns in their heads that limit their ability to ask. Some it is self-centered to ask for your needs, or that people should know what you want without asking. Others assume that someone would say "no" so why even ask, while others don't want to feel needy or appear weak.

Some people may confuse demands with requests. The difference between demands and requests:

Request: There is an understanding that with a request a person has a right to choose to say "Yes" or "No".
· With a request there is the understanding that there is no fear, shame or guilt involved no matter what the answer

Demand: A demand implies there is a threat or that something negative will happen in some form of retribution.
· In fact the key word is FREE… a request is where someone feels free to ask no matter what the answer vs. demand that holds no freedom on ransom.

So what are the elements of an effective request?

* Know what you want before you ask.
* Make sure your want is consistent with what you really say. For instance. If you want someone to help you with a task be certain you know what you want from them and what you need
* Be specific. If you want help with a task, be sure you are specific about the specifics about the task. Break it down and tell them exactly what you'd like and when you would like help.
* Remember if it is a request, the person may say no and it is important that you have a back up plan or strategy.
* You have a right to make a request. Remember that if you receive a NO… the message is about the sender and not about you.

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