Ask for What You Want

Most people are bad at asking for what they want. Instead of just saying what it is they really want, they beat around the bush. They hem and haw or skirt the issue. Perhaps they are afraid appearing demanding, or are desperate to avoid potential conflict. Whatever the reason, the end result is they don’t get what it is they want, and if they do get something it is usually a watered-down version of what they truly want.

Recently, I was shopping for a gift for my wife at a local antique shop. My wife loves photography. So when I saw a vintage accordion-style camera, I knew I had hit pay dirt.

Then I looked at the price tag. It was more than I had planned to spend.

My first impulse was to just suck it up and pay for the camera and leave. But then another thought popped into my head: ask for a discount. Ask for a discount? Who does that? Shops put price tags on things for a reason — the price is the price, right?

Yes, sometimes.

So, I walked up to the cashier, set the camera down on the counter, and said, “Would you be willing to come down any on this?”

The clerk looked at the price tag, paused a moment, and replied, “Sure, we can knock off 20%. How does that sound?”

It sounded great. Twenty. Percent. Just because I was willing to ask.

Right now there is something in your life that you want. You know what it is, don’t you? Maybe it is a pay raise or for your partner to put their phone away when they’re with you. Maybe you’d prefer your sandwich to be made a certain way or for your mother to stop interfering in your affairs. Whatever it is you want, you have zero chance of getting it if you don’t ask — and life is too short to just settle for whatever drifts your way.

Be bold. Ask. And if necessary, ask again. And again. But please, just ask.

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