April 19, 2013

Asking, Direct or Implied

Lately, I've been very aware of how people ask for things. Many of the people in my world imply what they want. Others directly say exactly what they want. This is actually another aspect of our dual natures.

Here is a scenario to explain these concepts. Let's pretend there is a cup of juice sitting on the edge of the table. As an observer you recognize that it is about to be knocked off by someone's elbow. How do you let that person know and hopefully prevent a mess?

If you are a direct you might say something like, "Hey, move that cup!" If you are an implier you may say, "That cup is about to fall." Neither way is wrong. They are simply just different subconscious responses. It's not something we usually think about.

A person who says, "I sure could use some help around here," is implying what they want. There is a subconscious expectation that the other people will fill in the blanks and infer what they want. A person who says, "Michele, take out that garbage," is directly saying what they want done.They see what they assume is the best result and then ask for that result.

There are varying degrees of how this shows up. Tacking please onto the beginning or end of a direct sentence doesn't change the directness of it. Getting closer to the center would be like saying, "Will you move that cup?" You still state specifically what you want but you've put it in a question. At the same token when I hear someone say, "Michele, I could use some help," I know that they want me to help, but they've still implied as to what exactly they want from me.

I am an implier. I noticed that the other day that I said, "I was wondering about the $39 offer." What I meant is that I would like to take that offer so could you please send me the information. I have realized that there are times and situations in which I need to be more direct. For instance with my children. I will specifically name my child and ask them to help with a specific task. I do this because when I don't they ignore me thinking the others will do it, or pretend they don't know what I want. When I'm being conscious of what I am doing I can directly say what I want. This can save me some stress, even though this is not my comfortable way of doing it.

Knowing this information can save a lot of heart ache. Knowing this can give you insight into your own natural style as well as those around you. Then you can be more understanding when they are showing up in a way that you don't agree with. You can be more vocal about what you really want, and therefore not get let down when they don't do what you ask. You can let go of the outcome a little and allow others to infer your desires.

Remember, you can only change you. You can change your reaction to them. If you have an implier saying they want help, and you know they likely mean for you to do it, you can do it or ask them more questions to get it figured out. Consider asking the direct asker to give you a little space to figure things out. Communication is key here.

When dealing with others, especially important relations like with my children. I watch and observe not only how they ask but more important which ways they respond to. Some of my children respond better when a suggestion is left and they can use their own authority to choose. Others prefer to know exactly what is expected of them. This often is the opposite of their asking style. I don't like being told what to do and yet I prefer to know exactly what is expected of me.

If you want to really know how direct or implying you are, think about about how you ask a customer representative about something. Do you soften your words by saying, "Would you please help me with..." or do you just say, "Hey, I need help with..."

Thanks for learning with me! I would love for you to share, tweet, +1, etc.


  1. My nature is to be direct. I work at being an implier when it's called for - it can be difficult, but it can also get me a lot further sometimes then a direct statement.

    1. Thank you! I love the power that comes with awareness. I'm glad to know you are aware and can choose to be less direct when it's called for!

  2. I am usually quite direct when i feel that is the correct for that person, I used to in the past speak without thinking and as i have softened my nature i am more considered when asking
    Great thinking Michelle

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your honesty.