My wife came to the gym with me yesterday.
It was a big deal.
We are learning the power of making requests.
It’s one thing to say “I’m so tired of you being such a slob”
It’s another thing to look your partner in the eye and say “I am requesting that you pick all of your clothes up from the floor and stop just dropping things”
That, by the way, is her request of me.
For a long time I’ve said things like “You’d feel so much better if you did some cardio”
Usually she would just look at me and say “what have you done with my husband???”
Yesterday I phrased it as a request to come to the gym with me and she said yes.
Requests are clear, powerful and when done properly have all parties best interests at heart.
A request is less about pointing out what you see as a failure or a deficiency in your partner and more about a mutual longing for a kind of life that lies on the other side of your choices.
So how do you make a request?
1. Examine your motivation – Why are you making the request and how will it be beneficial to all parties?
2. Change your shoes – By putting yourself in your partners shoes you can consider how the request itself may impact them.
3. Let go of the response – You may work up courage to make the request only to have it denied. It doesn’t mean they don’t love and respect you. They may just not be ready or may need more support than you thought. By not jumping into disappointment you create an opportunity to better understand their needs.
4. Don’t make it a contest: She didn’t accept my request so I’m not going to accept hers! That attitude is a guaranteed wall builder and a hot house for resentment.
Remember that requests are not just for couples. Try this approach with co workers, friends and family members to see how making clear, well defined, mutually beneficial requests improve communication and create positive results.
Even though this is not a contest I have to admit that I’m more inspired to get my clothes up off the floor…
No time like the present.
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