Responding to Requests

Ever feel annoyed when someone asks you to do something? Experiencing the “I just can’t handle if one of more person asks,” blues? 

The seemingly endless “to-do” lists happen. Adding one more thing at home, at work, or within an social or volunteer organization sometimes feels like too much.  

While practicing law, I often heard from clients angry about an ex-spouse or employer’s request. Feeling irritated by the ask results from thinking the person should not ask. Realistically, people get to ask for whatever they want, and you get to respond how you wish. The emotional energy behind your response may be as impactful as your words.

I teach clients that they may respond a multitude of ways to any request, including: “Yes,”  “no,”  maybe, “let me think about it”, or “I am not willing to do that, but I am willing to do this….” or ask questions to clarify exactly what and by when. 

When I find my schedule too full, what do I do? I sometimes do feel irritated or annoyed when someone asks me to do one more thing. When I hear my voice take on an irritated tone, then I know I need to check in with myself with a few questions:  

  1. When do I need to decide? 
  1. Taking this on affects what area of my life? Time, money, health, relationships, vocation? 
  1. What if I do not do it? 
  1. How does this align with who I wish to be? 

People get to ask. I get to respond. If it is not absolute “yes,” I tend to say my answer for now is no. The tone of my voice or energy I bring to the encounter may be as important as whether or not I say, “yes.” Simply changing the thought to, “this person believes I am capable of this task,” now helps me smile as I respond with gently with a confident “yes,” “no,” or “when do you need decision?” 

How do you respond to requests? Need help with what to say at home, work, or in the community? Sign up for a transformational coaching session. 

Sherry Bruckner

Sherry Bruckner

A civil and family mediator, transformational coach, speaker, and trainer, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help transforming conflict and creating peace in your home, organization, or community.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.