Love

3 Clever Ways To Get (Pretty Much) Anything You Want From Your Partner

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Wouldn’t it be great to be in a relationship where you could ask your partner for anything? Not just to get what you want, but to have your wishes known?

If you are like most people, you may find it difficult to “just ask” for what you want from your partner, but it is vitally important for the healthy functioning of your relationship. With simple clues, you may find that communicating effectively is not as difficult as you think.

Here are 3 ways to get almost anything you want from your partner.

1. Be thoughtful about the language you use.

There is nothing that can’t be accomplished with effective communication. The first thing that is necessary is to avoid negative words and keep the language you use positive.

As Carl Jung, the famous psychologist said, “You cannot find the new words if you do not shatter the old words.” So you need to monitor and transform the “old words” before making your request.

Photo: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

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Avoid using words that sound like a complaint or a demand. Stay in the realm of what’s possible, and be flexible about your needs. If you are open and work together, you will get what you need from your partner.

You may have a habit of phrasing what you say as a question rather than a statement or request. Questioning someone often sounds aggressive or accusatory. But making a direct statement of what you want usually gets better results.

For example, instead of asking your partner or husband "Why haven't you taken out the garbage yet?" you could say, "Hey, it would be great if you could take out the garbage." This will stop any arguments in their tracks, as the second statement is positive, and your partner will hear you better.

Additionally, the second statement acknowledges your partner for something positive they did or demonstrated. In fact, statements of acknowledgment have been shown to be even more powerful than expressions of love.

2. Be mindful of your tone and your non-verbal cues.

Living in a highly verbal culture, you may forget to pay attention to the significant nonverbal aspects of your speaking. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

Your partner is likely to be more affected by how you say something than by what you say. Nonverbal cues such as your tone of voice, gestures, eye contact, and touch can communicate what you mean and want more powerfully than your words.

   

   

If you had gone over to your partner and gently touched their arm while reminding tjem to take out the garbage, that would likely lead to a much more positive response. The tone of your voice is also especially important.

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Be careful not to be sarcastic in any way. It can make things worse, and you won’t get your request met then.

For instance, if you sarcastically say to your partner, “I don’t suppose you’d be able to do the dishes tonight?” they will not respond well to that. And you may end up doing the dishes yourself.

3. Start with generosity.

In making your request, stop and think about your partner’s needs as well as your own. You don’t have to take it to heart and feel rejected if your partner says no to your request. Let it roll off your back and move on.

Instead, come from a place of generosity when you request something from your partner, and give them the space to say no. If every request is granted, you might be unsure that the other person is just placating or discounting you. If there are a few “no”s, the “yes” will be more authentic and meaningful.

   

   

Remember that, as a couple, you are a team. Appreciate the other so they can feel free to appreciate you. What do you have to lose by being patient and kind? It might be your best quality.

The nature of generosity is that something is given freely without the expectation that the other person will do the same. How powerful does that make you feel? Plus, it is rewarding to be generous in that it's more fun to give than to receive.

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As an example, let's say your partner wants to go to a concert, but you want to stay home and finish a project or just relax. While you told your partner your intentions for the night, you also want to support them in something they want. So, you decide to go to the show.

In the end, your partner will appreciate your willingness to join them. And, at the same time, you will feel happy seeing your partner enjoying themselves. Being generous is a gift you can give, not an obligation.

Photo: Jonathan Borba / Pexels

As with many things, what you want takes some practice and more practice.

Making requests needs to be done by both partners, very often for big and little things. When it becomes common, there will be an ease of communication about feelings and freedom to ask for what you want, and a greater likelihood that you may get it sometimes.

But before you make a request or ask for what you want, take time to get clear about what you really want for yourself and your partner. Don’t be afraid to make a request of your partner; it builds trust and is for the good of your relationship.

A well-planned request must include a number of parts, but there are three aspects of asking for what you want that are key. After all, asking the right way can help you get what you need.

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Drs. Peter Sheras and Phyllis Koch-Sheras are clinical psychologists and founders of Couples Coaching Couples, a national non-profit organization committed to the creation and maintenance of profoundly fulfilling relationships.