You'd think that asking for what you want would be easy. It never really is. It SOUNDS easy, but sometimes the task of asking doesn't seem worth it. This probably goes deeper than most people want to read about, but I believe that my mom contributed to how I feel about asking for things that I wanted. I was rejected (told 'no') SO many times that I stopped asking.
Me: Mom, can I go over to Kelly's and play?
Mom: Only after you clean your room.
Me: Okay, all done. Now can I go?
Mom: Only if you take your brother
Me: Mom, can I spend the night at Jake's house?
Me: Why not?
Mom: Because I said so.
Me: Mom, can I go see a movie?
Me: What if I take my little brother?
Me: If I clean my room?
Me: Dad, can I go to the movies?
Dad: Ask your mother.
My whole life was like that. If I asked my dad and my mom found out...BIG trouble. Then if I wanted something it was always tied to something else. Never just, 'sure hon, go ahead', nope, not in my family. I hated being told no, it was like a small rejection every time, so I just quit asking. I would always assume that my mom would say no. The ONLY time she ever surprised me was when I asked to go to upstate New York for the summer with Hoe and she said yes. That story needs to be told...definitely in another blog.
All those experiences in my youth affected me. When I started working I hated asking for a raise or a review. Afraid that they would say no, or that there would be strings attached. In my relationships, if I was rejected in the slightest I would walk/run away. I didn't ask questions that could lead to rejection. I always gave alternatives so the answer couldn't be a plain 'no.'
But, this weekend I got up the nerve to demand something. Something that I wanted. Actually I've done it a couple of times in the past weeks. Trainer lost his wedding ring in the move, which he never wore anyway, but I asked that he get a replacement. I said that he had until our anniversary to get it done, which is three weeks after my birthday. I don't care that it costs money, I'd rather have that instead of a silly birthday or anniversary present. Oh, and I told him that he had to WEAR it this time. I asked for other things too, things that I thought he wouldn't do, but he did.
I don't know if I'll ever be up to the task of asking for a raise or a review, but at least I'm making strides in my personal life. I asked for something with a questionable outcome and it turned out okay. The past may haunt me, but the future doesn't have to loom overhead. The future can be different. I can say no to things that have strings attached, I have choices, I have a voice.