I’m always amazed at how often people won’t ask a question they want answered. Instead they will speculate, assume, dread and hope for an answer. But they never just ask.
When we want to know something, why don’t we just ask?
I’ve sat in mental misery spinning over a question endlessly: Does he like me? Is my boss upset? What did she mean by that? Will I be invited? Do we have any unfinished business? etc. etc. And I’ve seen plenty of other people – people old enough to know better – do the same thing.
When it finally dawned on me to just start asking, the relief was immense. It sounds so simple and obvious doesn’t it? But do you do it? Do you just ask?
Just asking does require a bit of bravery, some clarity, and self-awareness. Here are a few tips to get you started on your path to just asking:
- Don’t expect answers or even civility in response to questions that are none of your business.
- Sometimes answers will come in time. It’s okay to be patient and simply observe. Sometimes you already know the answer inside.
- Don’t ask questions to which you’re not prepared to hear any answer. If your heart is set on only one answer or outcome, then that’s not a question you should ask.
- If you want something and you’re already at “no”, you have nothing to lose by asking. People cannot respond with yes to the unasked question. I’ve been given plants, food, drinks, jewelry, raises, better seating, upgrades, discounts and help just because I asked. So ask!
Can I ask you something? What keeps you from just asking?
My friend, Leah, does this amazing thing that I admire. Actually she does a lot of amazing things, but this is the one I’m going to tell you about.
She sets goals and works to achieve them. And then she assesses and is willing to say “This isn’t working. Let’s change it.” Not many of us will do that – scrap hard-earned goals that just don’t fit.
When I first met Leah, she and her then fiance were about to buy their dream house. This was going to be their forever home in a suburban neighbourhood with lots of space for a family to grow in to.
Soon Leah and Rob realized the home was too big with space that they never used but still had to heat and clean.
They had to admit they didn’t have the time or inclination to plant that sweet little veggie garden they’d envisioned, and outdoor maintenance was something neither of them liked.
The mortgage strained their budget and didn’t give them much space for savings or the lifestyle they enjoyed.
Rather than hunker in and make excuses for why this, their dream home, would and should and did work, Leah and Rob re-assessed their dream.
They carefully looked at what they loved about their home and what wasn’t working. The weighed what they could give up and what was a must have. And then they made their move. Literally. They bought a charming but slightly smaller townhouse condo with an almost identical layout and feel to their original home.
Sure, they gave up the suburban dream of a big, detached house with a yard. However, now their mortgage payments and other costs are lower. They don’t have to do any outdoor maintenance and have more time to enjoy themselves.
Most importantly, they are happy.