Reminder: You Have Every Right To Ask For What You Want

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes second-guess yourself when it comes to asking for what you want, you often feel conflicted about standing up for yourself, and you might even wonder if you truly deserve what you really deserve. It’s time to change that because you have every right to ask for what you want.

  1. Most people won’t be aware that you even want something if you don’t say so. Forget the subtle hints you give people. Forget the looks you give them when they give what you deserve to someone else. Instead of stewing in disappointment, realize that when people pass you up for something you want without you saying anything, it’s because they usually have no clue that you wanted it to begin with.
  2. If you can’t be good to yourself, you’re not going to be able to be good to others. If you tend to forget about your own needs so that you can focus on everyone else, you’re sabotaging your ability to help others. You want to pull them up, not get dragged down. If they drag you down by refusing to let you stand up for yourself, you can’t help them, nor will they even appreciate your efforts.
  3. The squeaky wheel does actually get the oil. Simply put, people who ask for things are much more likely to get them. It’s just the way the world works.
  4. It will give you a good look into who’s there for you, and who’s there for what you can offer them. You will be surprised at how quickly people who are around you will bolt when you actually ask for something that you’d gladly give them. Seriously, this is the easiest way to vet out who’s a real friend and who’s just there to use you.
  5. People actually respect you more if you ask for what you want. I’ve found that people associate the ability to ask for things you need with self-respect, even in the strangest of situations. Since you obviously have enough backbone to be your own advocate, people will assume that you are less likely to let things pass. As a result, people will likely stop viewing you as a person who they can walk all over.
  6. If you’re more upfront with people about your needs, people will be more upfront about theirs, too.  One thing I’ve noticed is that passive aggression and cowardice both tend to be contagious. By being a straight-shooter, you’re showing that you have no problem confronting the problem (your needs being met) straight-on. Smart people will see this as an opportunity to be clear with you on their desires, and therefore will be less likely to feel like they have to manipulate you into doing things.
  7. Manipulative people often rely on the fact that others won’t be upfront about their wants and needs. How many times have you had that one frenemy do something that sabotaged you, smile, and say, “Hey, I didn’t know that was important to you”? Believe it or not, most people who are really in it all for their own gain are very aware of what they’re doing. They don’t expect to be called out on it, which is why they get away with it. You can nip it in the bud by saying that you made it very clear that you wanted X, and that they knew damned well that it hurt your chances at having it. It’s not aggression; it’s assertion. There’s a difference!
  8. It will improve your life. I personally can’t believe how much my life has improved after I advocated for my own wants and needs. If you’re anything like me, actually telling people what you want, whether it’s a raise or flowers on a first date, is liberating. It will make people treat you differently, and that’s a great thing.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.