The other day my sister’s name flashed across my cell and I eagerly anticipated hearing from her. I could tell from her voice that she needed something from me. Instead of immediately asking for what she wanted, she prefaced her request with all of these particulars. As soon as she finished rambling and asked for what she needed, my answer was a simple yes. At the end of the conversation, we discussed the importance of asking for what we want without trying to anticipate the other person’s thoughts.
When the all too familiar, “I want to ask you ________(insert ask here) but I think you might say no,” plagues our conversations it’s because humans hate rejection. Even if the person has a good reason to say no, we harbor some small resentment against them when they do. We’ve all been taught in church and other morally appropriate settings that it’s important to forgive people. The truth is, we can forgive all day. What do we do about the pain of rejection?
My thought process leads me to consider alternative possibilities. If we become tired of being rejected, who’s in our world that continues to tell us ‘no.’ Bottom line is, that person may not be #teamus. My momma used to say, “she ain’t yo’ friend.” I propose we surrounded ourselves with a support system of ‘yes.’ I believe there are people who want to ensure our happiness and will find a win-win whenever possible. Attracting those people in our lives starts with self examination. I recently took a Myers-Briggs type personality assessment. I now know how I operate best and the type of people who compliment me. My eyes are open and I’m searching with a clearer head for people who I want to be around without apologizing for the person that I am. I had to learn that people like me for me, but I have to like myself enough to let them.
Once we surround ourselves with the right people, we can cultivate our communication skills without the hesitation of, “I would ask you ____, but.” Rejection is a part of life. It doesn’t have to be our entire life. We can create wins for ourselves. We don’t have to anticipate other people’s thoughts. We can ask for what we want when we want it. The important part of the equation is to ensure we have the right people in our lives.