If your requests to others aren’t resulting in much in the way of action, you might like to look at whether you are actually asking anything at all.
“That office needs tidying”
“The rubbish is collected tomorrow”
“We’re spending more on travel than we should be”
“This is really difficult”
“It’s my birthday next Tuesday”
and even your silence
may seem to you like obvious displays that you need help. But they quite possibly sound nothing of the sort to the people around you.
Indirect requests are a manipulation, a demand that others show they love or respect you by being able to work out what you really want. But when you don’t get what you were expecting the result is frustration and resentment. And confusion, for everyone else, when you’ve become annoyed, or angry, or withdrawn – and they don’t understand why.
Over time, such vague requests erode the foundation of your relationships even as you’re trying to get people to come in closer.
Please, if you want to enrol others in doing something that matters you, ask them directly for what you want.
It creates so much more possibility and dignity for all of us.