Find a good time
Pick a time that you know your request will be heard. “People tend not to listen if they are angry, stressed, or at the end of a long day,” explains Tara Chivukula, LCSW, a psychotherapist in Austin, Texas. “Part of asking involves timing. This is especially true when asking for a talk with your partner, a raise from your boss or even working out an argument with a friend.” Learn the things confident people never do.
Get into the habit of asking and putting yourself out there. “It’s like building a muscle, the more you do it, the better you get at it and the easier it is for you,” says psychologist Vijayeta Sinh, PhD, owner of NYC Family Therapy in New York. “Like most things, practice helps us develop and hone our skills and develop a more neutral—and eventually positive—outlook towards things.” Make sure you use these persuasive power words when you do ask.