How To Get What You Want: 3 Dos & Don’ts

Get What You Want More Often

Well, yes – it’s likely you’ll get exactly what you want most of the time if you’re as adorable as this little charmer.

But even if you score a little lower on the cuteness scale, there are things you can do to radically increase your chances of getting what you want.

If you find yourself frustrated that you never get what you want, try these dos and don’ts.

How To Get More of What You Want, More Often

Don’t Complain That You Aren’t Getting What You Want;
Do Ask For What You Want

It’s surprising how much energy people will put into complaining that they aren’t getting what they want, instead of simply asking for what they want.

Here are 3 things I’ve asked for in the past 2 weeks alone – and gotten:

  • I asked for a gym class that had been cancelled to be put back on:
    “3 weeks without Combat is a long time. Do you think there’s any way we can have the Saturday class back?”
  • I asked a salesgirl to proactively look for items for me, rather than standing idly beside me:
    “I’m looking for business shirts in size 42 – would you be able to help me find some?”
  • I asked my video store to get in a series for me:
    “I’d really love to see the new series of Rescue Me. Can you get it in?”

Excellent things to ask for include:

  • Telling your spouse exactly what you’d like for your birthday (I know many cases where this has saved a lot of tears)
  • Speaking up about the movie you’d like to see or restaurant you’d like to try
  • Asking for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or at home.

Don’t Criticize:
Do Be Nice About It

If you’re frustrated, it’s a good idea to put that aside before you ask. Starting your request with a diatribe criticizing the gym timetable, the level of customer service or the video selection is not going to help your cause.

Instead, smile and ask nicely. It’s incredibly effective!

Don’t Only See Your Side:
Do Make It Easy For Them To Say Yes

The more specific your request, the more likely the other person will understand what’s being asked of them.

  • Instead of: Hey slob, why can’t you get off your butt and do more around the house?
    Try: Could you please empty the dishwasher each morning before you leave for work?

The more you give them a reason to say yes, the more likely they’ll feel motivated to do so.

  • Instead of: I can’t pay my rent – I need a pay rise.
    Try: I’ve helped increase sales/reduce complaints/improve speed by X%, so I’d like you to consider giving me Y% pay rise, please.

If you think you shouldn’t have to ask nicely, or shouldn’t have to ask at all (they should know!), then that will have to be your consolation when you don’t get what you want.

But life’s a lot more fun if you make it easy for others to give you what you want.

What do you think? Is there something you’re going to ask for?

[Image by deanwissing]

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