- Appropriate Timing is Essential. Don’t ask a man to do something that he is obviously about to do. If he is going to the store to pick up those couple of needed items don’t ask him to go immediately. Timing is crucial. If he is focused on something at the moment don’t expect him to go right away.
- Have a Non-Demanding Attitude. Remember that a request is not a demand. If you have a resentful or demanding attitude, no matter how cautiously you choose your words, he will feel unappreciated for what he has already done and will probably say no to your request.
- Whenever Possible, Be Brief. Avoid giving a list of reasons why you need his help. Assume that he doesn’t need to be convinced. The more time you take to explain yourself the more his resistance will grow. Long explanations make him feel as though you don’t trust him to support you. What you don’t want is for him to feel manipulated as opposed to having your trust that he will indeed rise to the occasion and help meet your needs.
- Always Be Direct. Venusians commonly make the mistake of thinking that they are asking for support when to a Martian they are not. Often women will present a problem rather than directly asking for support. She expects that her man will offer his support without being directly asked. Here’s a good example of being brief and direct as opposed to being indirect. You don’t want to say, “We haven’t gone out in weeks.” To a man that’s not a request it’s a complaint that says, “You have been neglecting me.” Simply say, “Would you take me out this weekend to a movie.” Don’t say “The backyard looks like a mess.” Rather state directly, “Would you cut the grass?” or “Would you rake the leaves?” Bottom line, you want to be sure that what you are saying is stated in the form of a request and not a complaint.
- Try Always to Use the Right Choice of Words. One of the most common mistakes in asking for support is the use of could and can in place of would and will. “Could you empty the trash?” is merely a question. “Would you empty the trash?” is a request. Women often come to a point where they become reluctant to ask for support because they have gotten responses like, “Don’t nag me,” or, “Stop telling me what to do.”
In spite of how it sounds to a woman, when a man makes this kind of a comment, what he really means is, “I don’t like the way I’m being asked.” Men don’t like a subtle approach, “Can you fix up the yard.” Of course they can do that. Rather they want to be asked to do it because you want it done. “Please rake and bag the leaves this weekend,” is a direct request. It’s not a plea, it’s not manipulative, it’s a simple and clear directive.
The more honest and direct you can be the more likely you are in all instances of getting the support you seek
John Gray, Ph.D. is the leading relationship expert in the world and one of the best-selling relationship authors of all time.
John helps men and women understand, respect and appreciate their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combines specific communication techniques with healthy, nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance. His many books, videos, workshops and seminars provide practical insights to effectively manage stress and improve relationships at all stages of life and love.
John’s books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages. His groundbreaking book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, was the best-selling book of the 1990s. It launched his Mars Venus book series that forever changed the way men and women view their relationships.
John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife of 26 years, Bonnie. They have three grown daughters and three grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his own health and relationship advice.