Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Afraid of Being Refused

How often do people, afraid of being told a "No" for a request, step back from making that request? In my case, it is quite often. Whether it is a simple request for a glass of water from my daughter, or a complicated request for professional help, I often deny myself the privilege of making the request and out for the glass of water or that professional help myself.

However, I remember reading somewhere that if you actually ask for something politely, there is a 9 out of 10 chance that the request or wish will actually be granted to you! I tried this in a restaurant once. The soup had a human hair on the edge of the bowl, and there were two choices before me: ask the waiter to replace the soup, or quietly pick up the hair and throw it down below the table. I decided to assert myself, and the soup was promptly replaced with at least three members of the staff visiting my table to apologise. I also received a 20% rebate on my total bill!

On the other hand, there are numerous occasions when I have felt bad that my simple request was not even considered, let alone debated/refused/granted! On such occasions, I feel like landing a tight slap on the opposite party. Of course, an actual slap is out of question, but I do grumble about this and at times, abuse that person silently.

How do you all feel about this? do read and comment about your own experiences when you have to make a request and it may or may not be acceded.


Holly said...

Do you think that as our children grow up and learn to say "No" to us, we become more reticent about asking anyone for anything, just to keep the peace?

I could be mean and point out that your second bowl of soup may have contained a spiteful spit, or worse (no, I don't believe it's likely, but there's been at least one popular movie, lately, to give diners pause before complaining about anything).

Seriously, though - what's the worst that can happen, if you ask nicely? The other party will may say no. They may make you feel bad for even asking ("Dad, why do you treat me like a slave? That's not my job!") or they may say, "Sure, in a minute," and their definition of a minute is "some time this century." What have you really lost by asking? Seems to me, if it's a reasonable request, the other party may lose more in the future by saying no.

drtaher said...

Dear Holly,

Your observation that the other party probably has more to lose if they deny you a reasonable request is right on the dot! However, if you say anything against your own children, it will probably be branded as "taking revenge" or becoming a "Hitler"! So, one loses both ways ...

StephTheScribe said...

Poor you! I think the next time round you gotta try a recipe and make soup on your own. I can't believe you have this fear of rejection.

You don't sound that way online. Maybe that's why people resort to online networking to project a different personality altogether, speaking in the general sense.

Anyway, the hotel people were very kind to you. Be happy about that. :)