How To Get What You Want

the begging life

It’s not selfish to ask. You just have to be willing to be told no.

–Anne Mitchell

Ask for it.


What is it that you want? It matters. You need to keep the end in mind if you are:

Grocery shopping

Shopping with a list in hand will remind you what you’re out of and want to buy. Aimlessly wandering will give you a cart full of anchovies, bananas, and another bag of brown rice you can’t remember if you already have, but no toilet paper or cat litter.

Herding your child to bed

What does your ideal bedtime look like? What time do they go down? Where do you want them to sleep? How much time and energy do you want to spend? Deciding all of that increases the odds your ideal bedtime happens. Not deciding it and hoping for the best will likely give you a drawn out and annoying ritual that doesn’t help anyone.

Asking for help around the house

What kind of help? Do you want him to do the dishes, maintain the lawn, read you poetry while you do all of the above? Deciding what you’re after increases the odds you’ll get some help.  Vaguely wishing things were different might get you clean laundry but it won’t be put away, when you really need the door fixed so it closes all the way.

Creating your dream life

Do you really want to live on a farm, grow your own vegetables and raise chickens or are you a Wall Street wannabe? The direction you take for accomplishing either is going to be way different. You don’t have to know exactly what you want but you need a pretty good idea.


Be specific

Pansying down your request will piss you off, piss them off, and pretty much ensure you won’t get what you’re looking for. You might come close or get something best described as ‘ish,’ but you won’t hit it out of the park. Then you might feel guilty for wanting more. You’ll feel like a nag for asking again. You’ll feel like a bitch because you can’t let it go.


Don’t tell your daughter “Your hands are cold,” when she’s putting them on your stomach. She doesn’t understand that you’re asking her to take them off of you. See what happens when you say, “Your hands are cold. Take them off of my stomach.”

Same thing with your husband. If you say, “You watch too much television,” he’ll hear your comment about television and probably get pissed off. Try telling him what you really mean: “I want to cuddle.”

I won’t guarantee the other parties will participate or say yes, but it’s never wrong to ask. And the sooner they say no, the sooner you can move to plan b.

Photo via Psyberartist

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