Success Script—Requests


Title:  Asking for Time
Name:  Janie
Date:  10/28/08


Background:  My boyfriend is in a band and band practice takes up a lot of his time.  We’ve been together for five years and I wish I was more included in his life.  I work about 20 hours a week on top of going to school full time.  My boyfriend works 40 hours a week.  With this kind of busy schedule it is hard to see one another.  On top of working, Steve practices with his band twice a week.  The time he spends with his band takes away from the time we could be spending together.  This has been really stressful for me because I would like to go to practice, and I have hinted at it, but I am never invited.


New Behavior:  Saturday I flat out asked Steve if I could go to band practice with him.  I used the technique in Connection.  I said, “Steve, I am feeling sad.  I would like to spend more time with you.  Can I go to the band practice with you tonight?”  He said, “Of course you can come.  The other guys’ girlfriends are there and I would really like you there, too.”


Why I Consider This a Success:  I think this conversation was a success because I got my feelings and needs across to Steve and he accepted them and wanted to include me.  I know that this isn’t a big deal in our relationship, but I think we are learning to communicate better.  Steve didn’t ask because he thought I did not want to go and I did not ask because I was worried I would get rejected.  I think this tiny example has shown me I need to vocalize requests, instead of hoping he will catch on.  I see that women are trained not to share needs and make requests.  This makes relationships very difficult, because I think and feel a certain way and never vocalize these emotions.  I expect Steve to read my mind, and this is unfair to him. 


Intention for the Future:  I intend to get more comfortable with making requests.  I know I was not taught as a child, so now when I make requests, I feel too bossy.  I think this technique will really allow me to open up to Steve.  To make any serious decisions, we have to consider both people’s needs and feelings.  I want to learn how to express myself in a positive, assertive way. This success will encourage me to try again. 

I do have a question—what is the next step if your request is going to be turned down by the other person?

(The next step would be to switch to a listening mode and ask what need of theirs would not be met by doing what you ask.  When you have both sets of needs on the table, then you can try again to figure out a way to meet all the needs.  This is covered more extensively on pages 117- 120.)