“Do you want to pull over here?” I asked.
“No” he replied.
My friend Ken and I were driving between San Francisco and LA along California Hwy 1, one of the most beautiful highways in the world with incredible views of the Pacific Coast.
“What about here? Do you want to pull over here?” I asked as we approached another turn off with a breathtaking view.
“Not really” he replied again.
“Well, what about this spot? Do you want to pull over?” I asked my fists clenched, my voice tight as the most beautiful view yet came up on our right.
“Nope” said Ken.
Why wasn’t Ken doing what I wanted? Wasn’t I being clear about wanting him to pull over so I could take in the view?
No, I wasn’t.
I was asking if he wanted to pull over and he didn’t want to pull over.
This was many years ago but if I’m remembering correctly in the end I got angry and he pulled over but it would have been much more fulfilling if I could have just asked for what I wanted.
Here are some ways I could have been clear about what I wanted.
“Ken, this view is absolutely gorgeous would you be willing to pull over?”
“Can you please pull over at the turn off ahead?”
“I’d love to stop and take in the view, can we stop at the viewpoint ahead?”
So often we think that we’re being straightforward and direct when we’re actually making huge assumptions in our communication.
Even as someone with extensive communication training through Cuddle Party, Authentic Relating and Non-Violent communication, it’s still hard for me to identify what it is that I want and ask for it clearly.
Just as I was writing this my partner called from California where he’s meditating this week.
It was loud where he was and I felt distracted. Instead of asking for what I wanted I said “It’s really loud…” in an irritated voice followed quickly with “I’m sorry sweetie, it would have been nicer to just ask you to move.” as he was already on his way to somewhere quieter.
The times that I can ask for what I want clearly are so amazing!
Sometimes we think we're being pushy by asking for what we want when in fact we're being clear and kind. We're also making it much more likely that we're actually going to GET what we want.
It's not a guarantee but it certainly ups the odds.
Are you clear about what you want? Are you asking for it?
I dare you to ask for something you really want today and let me know how it goes.
Love and clarity,
p.s. I love working on the subtleties of communication and helping clients figure out what they really want. If you want to be more powerful in your communication and your desires let’s talk. Just contact me and write “I want to set up a Clarity Call” with your phone number and we’ll set up a time to have a no pressure chat about what’s working, what’s not working and how I can help. I have room for a couple new clients and would love to work with YOU.