The Answer is Always No if You Don’t Ask

Everybody has needs, unfortunately many of us suppress those needs and can’t clearly articulate them. When you bury your needs, frustration follows.


  • Shift from wants to needs. Wants and needs are fundamentally different. If you can frame your asks around what you need as opposed to what you want, people will usually step up. For instance, people are more likely to say “I need a favor” as opposed to “I want a favor.”
  • Remind yourself it’s not selfish to ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone. Give yourself permission to ask for what you need.
  • Move past the fear of the ask. What’s the worst that can happen? If someone responds “no,” that’s an opportunity for you. You can learn from it and figure out how to get the “yes” in the future.
  • Be specific. Take a direct approach. Wishy-washy asks won’t get you answers. Make a specific ask: clarify what you need, when you need it, and why you need it. If someone understands why they should respond positively, you’re more likely to get what you need.

If you get the “yes” you’re looking for, express gratitude. Don’t assume the person automatically knows you’re thankful. Gratitude enables you to build a relationship based on kindness and trust.

Asking for what you need opens up so many possibilities. Happy sailing!

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