By Dwight Bain
The key to a better relationship is a lot simpler than you think. In fact the key to a better life is also simple – it’s not being afraid to ask. The Bible teaches you have not because you ask not. (James 4:2). Consider the following situations that could have been easily solved… if someone had the courage to ASK.
Think of how many times a student was struggling to finish a class, but was afraid to ask for extra time or extra credit.
Or the shy guy in High School who thinks the cute girl in his English class likes him, but he is afraid to ask her out on a date.
How about a woman who knows she is right for the promotion at work, but stays quiet, never asking for more responsibility or a raise to go with it.
Or a husband who wonders if his wife still loves him, but never speaks up and then is trapped into a tempting addiction to cope with his loneliness that he didn’t have to experience… if he only had stepped up to ask.
You may have heard the phrase that someone “Can’t read your mind” in the relationship, which is a simple way to draw attention to the need to speak up about issues. What if your loved one doesn’t practice this advice? Then you have to step up to A.S.K. I describe this relationship strategy with the letters A.S.K. Here’s how it works.
A- is to challenge you to be assertive- to be bold enough to speak up in a direct manner, to not stay silent or shy and to get to the point by not playing games
S- is to be sincere, to be honest and to be able to talk straight from an open heart Finally, the
K – is to be kind. Especially with tough issues, since kind communication on tough issues is easier to hear than coming across as mean or attacking.
Since the key to successful relationships is to be able to ask questions, here are a few to get you started.
· Can we spend more time together?
· Do you love me?
· Can you help me with this?
· What’s going on?
· When do you want to do this?
· Do you know how to meet my needs?
Some questions are going to be harder to ask than others. Often the toughest questions can bring about tremendous results if you muster up enough courage to directly ASK. For instance, “Can you stop spending?” or “What were you watching on the computer when I walked into the room?” or “When can we go back to church as a family?” or “What do I need to do to move ahead with this company to make more money?”
Other questions may sound sappy, like something out of a “chick flick” but asking tender questions can take your personal relationships to a deeper level of intimacy. It’s better to ask, “Can we just sit together tonight and watch the sunset?” or “Why don’t we call your mom to watch the kids so we can go to the beach for a romantic weekend?” or “I need you to be more affectionate, could you say ‘I love you’ more?”
Either approach, tough or tender brings results when you remember to use the formula.
· A- Assertive
· S- Sincere
· K- Kind
So next time you feel like complaining that you are misunderstood, under-appreciated, under-paid or unloved, why not spend your energy asking questions that may lead to your needs being met by the people around you. Over 2,000 years ago St. James challenged people to solve their lack by simply asking. That same advice works today. So if you find yourself in a situation where you have not… solve that by asking.
More importantly, if you find yourself in a desperate situation where nothing seems to be working and no one understands you; try asking God for help. You can always pour out your needs, hurts, doubts and frustrations to Him. He will never reject you and may even meet your needs with a direct answer. Prayer works because it is built on the core relationship advice skill of asking. Try it!
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About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change.