Ask and You'll Receive

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The TED Radio Hour recently played a talk called, Is it Okay to Ask for Appreciation? where therapist and coach, Laura Trice, examined the importance of specific, genuine praise, admiration and gratitude. Her premise was that most of us thought of kindness and appreciation as things we gave, but that we didn’t understand there was value in asking for them too.

She talked about a man married for 25 years who was longing to hear his wife say, “thank you for being the breadwinner so I could stay home with the kids,” but yet he wouldn’t ask. She talked about a client whose core wound was that his father had died without ever having said he was proud of him, and although the son had later heard from family and friends that his father had told everyone else how proud he was of him, the father had never told his son because he hadn’t known that his son needed to hear it.

“Why don’t we ask for the things that we need?” Trice asked the audience. “Why can I say, ‘I’ll take my steak medium rare? I need size 6 shoes,’ but I won’t say, ‘Would you praise me this way?’”

My thoughts are that ordering food or buying shoes is a different story than asking for what you really need or want, whether it’s praise, a donation for a cause you believe in or anything else that runs deep. Doing so suggests an insecurity, a vulnerability; it exposes you. I think it’s why some men are uncomfortable asking for directions. That seemingly simple ask goes much deeper than the ask itself.

How do you feel about asking for what you want or need: a different product at Tristar, a raise, a policy change from your congressional representative, an affirmation from a loved one …?

What might you receive if you opened yourself up and just asked?

Susan JohnsonComment