Are You Asking Him Wrong?

If you're finding your man to be less than enthusiastic about pitching in or being helpful, it could be that you are asking him wrong. Pressure motivates unless pressure blocks, and it is the release of pressure that teaches. The key to motivation is in balancing these three components to find the right mix for your man, taking into account his personality and your timing. With practice, you will develop a feel for putting it all together. For now, trust that he wants to make you happy and consider that if he isn't, it could be that you are asking him wrong.

Here are three ways of asking that you can try:

1. Be Direct: Being direct sounds something like, "Would you help carry in the groceries?" Some men respond to direct requests. For others, direct may be too direct and sound critical or bossy. If direct isn't working, some women try being more direct, "Go get the groceries," or, "Go get the groceries, now!" Add an increase in volume and a stern facial expression, and direct can become even more direct.

Remember, pressure motivates unless pressure blocks. Rather than motivating him, increasing pressure could be causing your man to tune you out. It could trigger opposition reflex. If that's the case, adding more and more pressure will only desensitize him and make matters worse. Some men respond to direct requests but for others, direct may be too direct. If your man is resisting a direct request, try being indirect and see what happens.

2. Be Indirect: Being indirect is more akin to making a comment or giving a hint. While some men completely miss your indirect signals, others are surprisingly attuned to indirect requests. You may say, "Brrrr... I'm cold," and he may hear, "I need to be her knight in shining armor and take care of her." He may turn on the heater or bring you a blanket without you even asking. For some men, your comment was asking. It's the same thing that happens when you start talking about your day and he takes it upon himself to interrupt and try to "fix it" for you. Many men are attuned to listen for opportunities to provide for women, and many men like to feel chivalrous. Chivalry is not dead. By being indirect, instead of direct, you are giving your man the opportunity to choose for himself if he wants to help you. If he's missing the hint, try being more direct.

3. Find the right incentive: You want him to do something, but why should he? Recognize that we all do things for a reason and your man is no different. It is human nature that there has got to be something in it for us if we are going to continue doing any behavior. If your boss stopped paying you tomorrow, would you continue going to work every day? If your man isn't being receptive to you, maybe there isn't the right incentive. Incentive could be as simple as saying thank you. It could be a smile. It could be a little comment, "If you help me carry in these groceries, I'll make sure later tonight that you're glad you did." Have fun with seeking incentives. Learn what motivates your man.

When it comes to asking for what you want correctly, one way isn't right and one way isn't wrong. Either the way you're trying is getting the results you want, or it isn't. It's all about finding the right amount of pressure and timing the release. Experiment with your man. Be willing to change the way you ask for things. Be willing to change on a moment-to-moment basis. Try being direct and see what he does. Try being less direct and notice that, too. Throw in an incentive and see what happens. By becoming attuned to your man and willing to change your approach, you will learn his preferences and which approach gives you the best outcomes most often.