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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Can you (please)

I now know how it is to hear a string of "can you do this, can you do that" and can understand it now when E gets irritated on the occasions that I have asked him to do/get something.
Adding please, we both thought, would differentiate "can you" (a directive) from "can you please"(a request). But it still comes across as an order.same with replacing "can" with "could"

So my question is, how do you ask for help, provide clear directions on what is needed, and not come across as demanding or bossy?

If you've been following along for a while, you know I am horrible at asking for help and often take on waytoomuch. But if asking for help comes across as abrasive...I'm not likely to ask.

2 comments:

  1. I don't think asking for help is bossy, if you need help. Now, if someone was just being lazy, that would get annoying, but if you could really use the help, that really shouldn't bother anyone. (Though what and who does make a difference)

    I've been jokingly and goodnaturedly called "bossy" all my life. LOL But I'm not bossy. Not really. I just speak up when it needs doing, and I'm not generally shy. For example, at my rehearsal dinner for the wedding, everyone was standing around, no one really knowing where to go or what to do, and I would have gladly let anyone else take over, but after about half an hour of no one making any move to do so, I stepped up with "Okay, you stand here. You go there..." I was nice, and we joked a lot, (everyone telling hubby what he was getting himself into. LOL) but if I hadn't done it, we'd still all be standing there. LOL So, generally, I don't have trouble asking for help, though I guess, too, sometimes I ask more than I NEED to...like hubby gets irritated when I ask for "help" which is asking him to call people (businesses) for me, because I HATE calling people I don't know. Just a thing, go figure.

    But all that to say, I guess it just matters who you're asking, and what you'r asking them. If you are nice about it and really could use the help and not just "being lazy" I can't see why anyone would mind. Granted, the what matters, too...I don't mind handing someone a pot from the kitchen, but I might be a bit more put out to go pick up their dry-cleaning, for instance. :) Of course, if they were sick and couldn't go, that makes a difference, too....see what I mean?

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  2. I would ask E how he prefers to be asked. Everyone is different. When I was younger, my mom used to phrase a question the same way every time... and it made me want to claw my eyes out. It wasn't rude or abrasive, but just something about the way she said it made me nuts.

    Maybe he would prefer to be asked... maybe he would prefer a list that he can just check off as he goes. Reality is you have to ask for help. You just have to. No one can do it alone. But, sure, you can find a way to ask that sounds pleasant to the person you're asking. The question is, how does he prefer to be asked?

    Geez. Does any of what I just said make sense?

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I'd love to know what you think:

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