A couple of months back I wrote an article about a dead cat. You may remember it as the one where I talked about Schrodinger’s cat and how our little feline friend can be used to inspire and push ourselves to reach outside of our comfort zone and grab life by the balls.
Well, this is kind of like a sequel.
You see, most of us are too afraid to find out if the cat is dead or alive. The questions we want to ask frighten us to the point of extreme inertia. We just stand there, lost in a state of confusion.
It could be the fear of ridicule – worried about what others may think of us or it could even be a fear of success – imagining the possibility of a future that is vastly different than what we currently know.
Yet, we are all tough enough to deal with the consequences, regardless of how disastrous they may seem. So what if an important request is turned down – we gave it our all. That is all you can ever hope to do.
Realistically though, the chances are that by asking scary questions, the answers themselves are likely to be filled with positivity and reward.
Take the three questions in this article. They have terrified all of us at some point, but why?
Why is it scary to ask someone out on a date? Why is it scary asking your boss for a pay rise or a promotion? Why is it scary asking someone for help?
The short answer is that it isn’t. We’re just a big bunch of wimps.
So stop being a big sissy and deal with it.
1. Do you have a crush on someone? Tell them today and ask them out
Gone are the days when you could just send your school chum over to that girl you fancied and get them to ask her out on your behalf. If my testosterone fuelled adolescence taught me one thing; it’s that you shouldn’t stand there and gawp in the general direction of a cute girl whilst picking your nose and expect to receive anything other than mass ridicule and a swift, sharp NO!
But it’s alright. That was in the playground. Adult life is full of mature, experienced and somewhat intelligent individuals who have a little more social nous about them and can navigate this treacherous dating scene with the stealth of a love ninja!
Or not, as the case may be.
For some reason, most of us are so repressed in the art of dating that we are virtually paralysed with fear when faced with the opportunity to ask someone out. We would rather let our true love pass us by than run the risk of having our heart ripped out and kicked around in a frenzied game of ‘let’s ruin your life’.
That’s pathetic and a little backwards isn’t it? If we do nothing, we get nothing but heartache.
But if we do something, anything, then our chances of finding true love increases tenfold.
Nobody can say yes to your request for a date if they have no idea that you even like them, so stop being a pussy and ask them out. At the very least you will put a huge smile on their face.
As Einstein once said ‘hesitation equals masturbation’.
(Einstein may not have actually said this).
2. Ask your boss for a pay rise or a promotion
It’s unlikely that your boss will instantly grant your wish, shove an extra 5k into your sweaty palms and alert the rest of the workplace to your obvious greatness. If they are anything like the majority of my former managers then you’d be lucky to get a derisory roll of the eyes and a swift kick up the backside.
But that isn’t the point.
By confidently strolling up to their office, knocking a little too loudly on their door and startling them into spilling their coffee all over their lap. They will have no choice but to acknowledge that you are someone who they cannot ignore in the future. You are no longer a soulless worker bee who bends over in the face of authority and takes it like a British Prime Minister in Brussels.
You are different. You have a dream.
You want more money and dammit, you want it now!
Alright, you may not feel like you have the skills and ability to warrant this request but take a look around your current workplace. Are there people in lofty positions who really shouldn’t be there? Is the place being run by a bunch of buffoons who have no idea what they are doing?
As uninspiring as this may sound; you too can be one of these buffoons! Instead of putting yourself through hell for a measly wage that barely covers your basic needs. You could be set for a promotion and a pay rise just by having the balls to actually ask for it.
Should your request be met with hearty laughter and condescension, console yourself with the possibility that your future hard work will no longer go unnoticed and should any future positions crop up, you will be first in their thoughts.
Failing that, you could always just leave?
3. Don’t be afraid of asking someone for help
What have tramps, hobos and the homeless got that you haven’t?
I’m not talking about genital warts and dirty fingernails, that should be a given.
They simply have the courage to ask for help. Their need for shelter, food and copious amounts of special brew is far greater than their pride. They don’t allow the fear of being judged to get in the way of their primal desire to improve their life situation (or get shitfaced drunk).
Of course it may be easier to ask for help (or beg) when faced with survival than whatever trivial first world problems we might think we suffer from but it’s all relative. Just because you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge and safe job doesn’t mean that you are somehow exempt from receiving a helping hand if you need it.
The truth is; we ALL need help from time to time and the sooner we can face up to this fact of life, the sooner we can get over ourselves, push that ego to one side and actually do something about it.
It really doesn’t matter what your problem is. People will be there for you. Friends, family and your significant other will bend over backwards if given half a chance to make things right in your world. That’s what they are there for. They don’t care about your pride, your ego and your perceived weakness.
That’s all in your head.
The truth is that by asking for help, you are demonstrating strength, courage and a vulnerability that we should never try to repress, in any situation.
If you need some money, ask for some money. If you need a helping hand in dealing with a trauma or depression, ask for that too and if you want someone to run upstairs and fetch you your slippers…
Get off your ass and do it yourself you lazy git!
Have you recently asked someone out? How did it go?
Are you toying with the idea of asking another important question?
Let me know your experiences and thoughts in the comments!
As always, if you enjoyed this article please share via your social media using the little buttons below!
On the other side of this, when people offer you something (whether it’s constructive criticism or otherwise,) take it. Take it all and see what they’re trying to tell you. Whether or not you agree doesn’t matter because what you should be doing is seeing from their perspective.
Vincent recently posted..What’s Your Worst-Case Scenario?
Yes, that’s a great little tip! Even if we don’t agree with what they are saying there has to be an element of truth to what they feel or else they wouldn’t say it. Whether it’s asking/telling or being told – it’s all about communication and life is always a two way street! Thanks for the input.
The third point really resonates the most for me. You know, I hate that 1st/3rd world comparison, all that is really irrelevant!
You’re right, everyone needs help no matter what, only an idiot would think he can do it all by himself. I firmly believe in that. And the thing I realise a lot of people don’t have is the courage to be vulnerable.
Jeremy recently posted..What’s The Hype With Positive Thinking And Optimism?
Exactly! A problem is a problem, regardless of where it comes from or who experiences it. We are all the same inside and we all have the same fears and insecurities. Your bank balance or country of birth makes no difference – we all need a helping hand and we should all seek it. Thanks Jeremy!
‘As Einstein once said ‘hesitation equals masturbation’
I feel your post has a bit of synchronicity with my last post. Both are (kind of) about asking for help.
I think that there’s a dearth of honest, to-the-point conversations in our society, and when people see that you are one of those “rare” ones who are comfortable with honesty, they like it.
Ludvig Sunström recently posted..How to Get on the Radar of Successful People
Hey ludvig, Yeh I noticed that too! Funny how people write about similar themes. Must be something in the water! Honesty and vulnerability are difficult, so not many people will revel in these feelings. I’m always a work in progress! Thanks
Today I asked someone for help instead of keeping things to myself. Thanks Jamie
Hey, no problem! I’m happy that you asked for help! Thank you.
Number one and two don’t really apply to me. I am single, but dating is very complicated as a 50-year-old single dad. My job only gives raises to everybody at the same time. I’m a college instructor for the State. But #3, I could use some practice at. I do ask people for help occasionally, but often try to do too much myself. Good reminder.
Dan Erickson recently posted..are you writing for the right reasons?
Hey Dan, it doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Surely that is just your perception?
About the first point on telling someone you have a crush on them. I have similar issue I am in love with my best friend but she is married and has kids so I think telling her would ruin the friendship. Any advise?
Ahh well, common sense should prevail here. Telling someone how you feel only ruins the friendship if you allow it to. Then again you don’t want to wade in and potentially ruin a marriage. Having been in a similar situation myself, just remain close and if sparks ever fly, then use your instincts, but don’t force anything.
If she becomes single in the future, then you must do something about it. Until then, caution is best.
Jamie! This post (parts of it) was hilarious!
Taking the ‘I don’t deserve it’ out of a request for a pay rise can be done when preparing the the meeting. If you can prove to you boss how much value you’ve added, then they will have difficulty in saying no.
The alternative is to agree a 6 month plan with objectives you can meet in order to get the raise.
And the alternative to the alternative is to be a buffoon…. yikes.
Razwana recently posted..Why sucky writing means sucky sales, and why I’ll be seeing you up the wazoo
Hey Razwana, thanks. You’re right – we have to show our worth when requesting a pay rise but it’s also as much as putting yourself on their radar as it is about your current situation. A good boss will always want their staff to progress. It’s the insecure, scared ones who are worried about losing their job who aren’t willing to help you reach your goals. In my experience anyway.
I’ve learned that a manager has little excuse to give you a raise or promote when you are performing and producing results. The key before asking is to be showing the results. Great thoughts here!
Yep, like Razwana mentioned – working and behaving like you’re already good enough for a promotion will go a long way to getting that granted in future. If not, a good chat with your boss will let them know you’re ready for more responsibility and a chance to prove yourself!
I was about to google “hesitation equals masturbation” hahahaha.
6 months ago I did have a huge crush on someone but never told her. Now I’m in love with someone else and we’re dating. I’m so grateful I never ended up with the other girl.
I agree with you 100% but how about this case?
SebAstian recently posted..Don’t Listen To People
That’s awesome. I think of it like this; life is so random, we cannot know what is in our future so we can only act on our present thoughts. The girl you previously liked may have been perfect for you at the time. Maybe more so than your current girl… who knows? But that isn’t the point. You SHOULD have told the previous girl, regardless of how the future panned out. You weren’t to know you would meet someone else.
But that’s now in the past. All you can try and do now is to make sure that if you want to tell your current girl something (or anyone), then don’t let it pass you by.
As you know by the Power of Now – the present is all that matters, so embrace it! Thanks for your comment!
“All you can try and do now is to make sure that if you want to tell your current girl something.”
Hmmmm… I’ve been thinking about this exact thing all day long…
Are you like some sort of priest or something sending me omens?
SebAstian recently posted..Don’t Listen To People
Hey, whatever you choose to tell your girlfriend has nothing to do with me.. 😉
Over the years I’ve gotten your first question down. The second question doesn’t really apply to me since I’m self-employed. But the third question is so huge for me.
I have recently found that I don’t ask for help very often, but when I do I grow by leaps and bounds. It’s so simple and so amazing. I’m slowly but surely getting into this habit and I know it’s going to be a game changer.
Badass questions man.
Kevin Cole recently posted..Being Hard On Yourself, Where Do You Draw The Line?
Yeh I figured you might have the first question sorted… well at least I would hope so.. haha!
Asking for help is hard, but it’s amazing what we can achieve once we allow ourselves the chance to accept it! Thanks for your thoughts!
The asking for help thing, that’s the one I’ve still to learn. Not sure whether it’s ego or trust or what but I’ve just never taken to it a whole lot. One I’m still figuring out…
Micah recently posted..The Power of Diversity: 3 Ways it Makes You Better
Hey Micah, that seems to be the one we’re all trying to figure out! For me it’s an ego thing definitely, but for some reason I don’t have trouble asking people to lend me money, probably because it’s only a few pounds here and there but emotional help? That’s a struggle!
This is wonderful article. Yes you are right. The problem that most of the people don’t “ask” because they assume that the opposite person under weighs them; But it’s not true in most of the cases. In fact, the opposite person “may not know” that you have this thing to tell him or what you want.
“Ask” bridges the gap between what you have and what you want. At least it gives you a “yes” or “no”.
That’s so true. We don’t know anything unless we ask. Thanks for your comment, Naveen!
i had some crush with a chick some years back, i didnt tell her. she got married later,
This article makes some good points but there are some pretty unnecessary comments, like how homeless must have genital warts!? What’s really funny is that you say we don’t take chances because we are “sissies” but it’s fear of rejection that is the ultimate reason. Fear of loss is behind every chance that someone doesn’t take. Finishing an article off with people asking for help, particularly with depression, and then saying “get off your ass you lazy git” doesn’t really come across as humerous or playful, this article just tries too hard to be witty but doesn’t offer enough sound advice or consolation. It would have been better to focus on how you never know if you don’t ask and taking a chance can lead to you getting what you want!
Hi Olivia, the line ‘get off your ass your lazy git’ is referencing the sentence about wanting to get someone to fetch your slippers. Not regarding depression or any serious matter. The article isn’t supposed to contain practical advice – it’s presenting three ways you can change your life today, and some thoughts and opinions as to why. The first line of the article references the main article which does indeed focus on your last point ‘how you never know if you don’t ask’.
Thanks for your comment.