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Feb 9

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For What You Want


One of the stories my college friends recall vividly occurred at a local Subway restaurant.  Forever etched in lore, it is a great example of how I approach my interactions with others.

We had all ordered our sandwiches and were getting ready to leave the restaurant. I asked the attendant to add an M&M cookie to my order. As he was reaching into the cookie bin, I spotted a cookie that was loaded with candy. As he reached for the cookie closest to him, I exclaimed, ‘not that one, I want this one’, pointing to the cookie that had the most candy embedded in it. He handed me my cookie of choice without complaint. My friends laughed and chided me for being so picky; they couldn’t believe that I would be so particular about the cookie I wanted.

I did not apologize or feel guilty about the request. Why should I?

Asking for what you want is a ‘best practice’ in life, an action that is an optimal choice ceteris paribus. At worst, you will get turned down. You can move on knowing that at least you acted on your desires and spoke up (most people are unwilling to do that). No one is going to vilify you for speaking up, but I’d tread lightly while dining at a sit-down restaurant
. More often than not, you will find that accommodations will be made to grant your request.

Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you may obtain a better result than if you had said nothing at all.

I’m not saying you should become a selfish, head-strong individual that is unwilling to compromise— no one wants to deal with someone who is unduly inflexible and self-centered. I’m just saying you should not be afraid or ashamed to ask for what you want, even if those around you hesitate to be so discriminating. People respond to those who carry themselves with aplomb. We all have one life to live—continuously settling for ‘I guess this is OK’ or ‘I don’t deserve to have any better’ will not lead to genuine contentment.

Insist on getting what you want— exactly the way you want it. 

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