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Do you ask for what you want?

Dear reader,

Do you ask for what you want?

Or do you stay silent with a fear of hearing a ‘no’?

Or not wanting to come across as ‘needy’ or ‘selfish’?

On Wednesday I led a webinar on the theme of “The Art of Asking For What You Want” with Hannah (Schrems).

I was very happy to see how many people registered and showed up for the webinar. And for the comments, sharing and questions people had.

I do think this is such an important topic.

Some people in the webinar shared that they are very afraid of getting a ‘no’ and making that mean they were wrong or bad for asking. Or that the other one doesn’t like them. Some shared how they felt scared and asked for what they wanted anyway and got an enthusiastic ”yes, I’m happy you asked”.

Some shared that they don’t know what they want.

One shared that is it difficult to balance out between their wants and children’s wants and need. Surely children need to come first but what about couples time?

I felt energized and motivated to hear those sharing.

Yes!

This is why I do this work.

So that we can be humans together.

Real together.

You asking for what you want is in my opinion actually you showing who you are and what is important to you. It is telling our loved ones what you want instead of being a people-pleaser – also known as an ‘everything goes’ person.

Those people who don’t share what they want are easy and still tasteless, shapeless and difficult to really get to know. It’s not that most of us don’t have an opinion or preference. It’s just that some of us have buried it very deep.

Maybe you were guilt tripped when you asked – or demanded – what you wanted as a kid.

Or maybe you saw your parents never asking and being a martyr of ‘never wanting anything’.

One thing that came up is: how to start if you are not used to asking for what you want?

For me, learning to ask for what you want is a pretty simple three step process:

1. Develop awareness of what you want.

Become curious about yourself! You can do that by listening to yourself, taking time to check in rather than answering quickly or talking fast and checking what you notice in your body. With time preferences tend to surface. If they don’t just give yourself even more and love.

2. Share if you are nervous or scared

to ask or worry about a ‘no’ (or worry about a yes. That is a thing too!). Make vulnerable requests.

3. Make the request.

In Radical Honesty we prefer to use very clear and simple language. First stating what we want and then asking for it with a clear yes / no question. Such as ”I want you to massage my shoulders” and ”are you willing to do that?”

After asking comes the step of hearing the answer. A real request is a question where the other is fully free to say: yes, no, I don’t know, yes later or whatever is alive in them.

I have written several times before about this topic. I am passionate about it!

Check out a blog post I wrote last year and a helpful exercise here:

I want all of us to become ‘desire activists’ – telling people around us what we want without shame, celebrating when we dare to ask, welcoming both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as good answers and inviting others to do the same.

And one last thought which Hannah brought up in the webinar: it is not so serious to ask for what you want! You can play with it. Be unreasonable. Let your 5 year-old out! There is enough time to be serious and adult. Why not let yourself play, especially with your partner or friends?

One thing that I was shit scared to ask from Pete earlier is asking him to tell me three (or even five things) what he likes about me or what is great about me. In the past I was judging that I was too needy or worried of a ”no” or him not coming up with three things.

I had no evidence these fears would come true and still they were very real to me. I had been taught not to rely on other people, not to stand out or be difficult and asking what great about me goes against what I learned early on.

So… what is stopping you to share what you want?

Who are you going to ask next and what are you going to ask them for?

Check out also this video about the topic, below:

I want to also briefly mention another topic: I like how in many ways Pete and I have similar interests and when it comes to our ways of working and talents we are somewhat different. I tend to be quick and a bit sloppy – rather speed than perfection. Pete is good with details and editing & giving the final touch to texts, concepts and thoughts.

Pete is the one taking care of numbers and details: I loved reading the last newsletter where Pete had compiled facts and figures of the last two years’ workshop, retreats and other events and gave his reflections on different aspects of our work. In case you missed the newsletter you can read it here.

One thing I want to mention about last year is our second year of Honesty Europe Practitioner Program. We improved from the first year we ran it in 2019 and the new group now in 2022 will have an even better program I think with our learning from the first two years.

The reason why I mention this is that I love working long term with people, creating connection and better understanding of what they are about, what is important to them and what is challenging. I judge the participants and us trainers get so much more out of long term processes where they have built trust and connection.

And doing this in a group gives so many things: learning to speak up and listen, daring to get angry and sad in front of others, asking for support and being willing to receive it and having the profound experience of being seen and heard.

This year the Practitioner Program is having the first group on Sunday and it is fully booked and we also had to say ‘no’ to some people not to have too big of a group. I’m excited to continue and further improve the concept for the 2023 group too.

I would have never guessed that today I am working with groups full time! Me, who was a shy kid and afraid of speaking up in groups until my early 40’s ?

What are you doing that you have been afraid of doing in the past?

Love,
Tuulia & Pete

P.S. Some countries are facing lock-down (like for us in Finland and in the Netherlands) or more restrictions and we had to postpone a few in-person events.

Rather than let yet another COVID wave take us down: let’s rock the lock-down together!

? This Sunday 16th February we are offering an intimate small Group coaching for advanced practitioners. Read more

? On Monday 17th February we kick off an almost full 4-Week Online Course – this intense course gives you an opportunity to jump into Radical Honesty practice or sharpen your skills with group online meetings on Mondays and during the week meeting with your buddy group.

?? Check out more about Monday’s course with other honesty weirdos

? Sunday 6th February we offer One Day Couples online workshop! These have been very popular in the past. During the day you will do many sharings and exercises with your partner and connect with other couples in the big group and leave the day with tips and exercises to go at home also after the workshop.

?? Read more about the lovely Couples workshop and book your spot.

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