In the last two parts of our series, I taught you in Step 1 why women should ask for support at all and in Step 2 why to ask for support even he declines. Those two steps are necessary for the final step. In Step 3, I show you how you convince men to give you support.
Step 3 Practice Assertive Asking
Once you have practiced Step 2 and you can accept a No for an answer, you are ready for step 3. In this step, you use your full power to get what you want. If you start to ask for help, and he tries to make excuses or says no, you do not say ‘OK’ as in Step 2. Instead, you practice making it OK that he resists at first. However, do not let him off the hook by saying ‘OK’. You continue waiting for him to say yes.
Let’s take an example.
Convince men to give you support
It was always late in the evening when I visited my ex-girlfriend. Both of us were exhausted from a busy day. The only thing we had thought was going to bed. Unlucky, she had a dog. Because we had to go out for a walk right before bedtime with him. In the beginning, she did it. After a while, she asked me: “Would you go for a walk with him?” I resisted immediately: “No, I am really tired. Can’t you do it?” She didn’t respond. So, I started to grumble: “Oh, come on. It is your dog, you should go?” She still didn’t respond and just listened to my grumbling. After a while, I gave up and I went for a walk with her dog.
I was grumbling after I heard her request. When I was outside in the cold, I do not feel any resentment at all. Instead, I felt a small achievement. “Yeah, look at me! I accomplished a task!” After finishing my task and arriving back home, she hugged me tightly and kissed me. She gratefully said: ” Thank you so much! You don’t make me dressed again. I love you!” At this moment, I feel like one of the greatest men alive. Just because I did her a small favor. Since then I have willingly gone out for a walk with the dog, so she doesn’t have to. Men are simple, right?
So, what the fuck happened? How could she convince me to go out with her dog late at night? Even though, I hated it so much? She used two techniques of Step 3: Pregnant Pause and Rewarding.
One of the key elements is to remain silent after asking for support. Moreover, allow your partner to go through his grumbling like she allowed me to. It is crucial to not disapprove of his grumbling. If my ex-girlfriend would say: “You are tired? I am damn tired!” A fight would break out instead. As long as you remain silent, you have the possibility of getting support. However, if you break your silence you lose that power. Or even worse, a fight occurs.
When a man grumbles it is a good sign –
he is trying to consider your request versus his needs.
Women unknowingly break their silence to validate their request:
- “I can’t believe you are saying no. I do so much for you.”
- “It will only take fifteen minutes.”
- “I don’t ask you for much.”
- “I feel disappointed. This really hurts my feelings.”
- “You mean you won’t do this for me.”
- “Why can’t you do it?”
When he grumbles, she feels the urge to defend her request and mistakenly breaks her silence. She argues with him with the intention to convince him. But it makes things worse. Because whether he does it or not, he will be more resistant next time.
To avoid creating resentment from him, simply ask and pause. Let him grumble and say things. Just listen. Eventually, he will say yes. And believe me, men who grumble will never hold it against you as long as you don’t insist or argue with him.
One of the key elements of assertive asking is to remain silent after you have asked for support.
How to respond to his questions?
Sometimes, however, he may not say yes. Or he may try to argue his way out by asking you some questions instead. Be careful. During your pause he might ask questions like:
- Why can’t you do it?
- I really don’t have time. Would you do it?
- I am busy, I don’t have time. What are you doing?
Not every question needs to be answered. These rhetorical questions can be ignored and you can remain silent. Don’t speak unless it is clear that he is really looking for an answer. If he wants an answer, give him one, but be very, very brief, and then ask again. Assertive asking means asking with a sense of confidence and trust that he will support you if he can.
Here are examples if he denies your request or responds with a question:
|What he says in resistance to her request||How she can respond with assertive asking|
|“I don’t have time. Can’t you do it?”||“I’m also rushed. Would you please do it?”
Then remain silent again.
|“No, I don’t want to do that.”||“I would really appreciate it. Will you please do it for me?”
Then remain silent again.
|“I’m busy, what are you doing?”||“I’m busy too. Will you please do it?”
Then remain silent again.
|“No, I don’t feel like it.”||“I don’t feel like it either. Would you please do it?”
Then remain silent again.
that she is not trying to convince him but simply match his resistance. If he is tired, don’t try to prove you are more tired and therefore he should help you. Or if he thinks he is too busy don’t try to convince him that you are busier. Avoid giving him reasons. This is counter-productive and his resentment will be bigger next time you ask.
Why are men so sensitive? The Purpose of Rewarding
After reading the whole series, you might wonder why men are so damn sensitive about being asked for support. It is not because men are lazy but because men have so much need to feel accepted. As a result, any request to be more or to give more is an indirect message that he is not enough.
Just like women are more sensitive about being heard and feeling understood when they share their feelings, a man is more sensitive about being accepted just the way he is. That is the reason why any attempt to make him better makes him feel not appreciated for who he is.
Therefore it is of utmost importance to reward him. In a sense of giving him the feeling that he does great. If my ex-girlfriend would see taking her dog for a walk as something usual, I would never do it again. Instead, I would resist her more next time. But however, she gave me the feeling of love and acceptance by thanking me. The message I receive from her: “You are such a great guy that you even go out with him so late at night!”
Any guy who receives this level of importance and acceptance would offer support without being asked.
Rewarding him after he accomplished your task, will make him love you more deeply and feel accepted. A byproduct, he will offer you more of his support.
Summary – Convince men to give you support
In summary, by learning how to ask for support, your relationships will steadily become greatly enriched. As you are able the receive more of the love and support you need, your partner will also naturally be quite happy. Because I know men are happiest when they feel they have succeeded in fulfilling the people they care about. In other words, if my partner is happy because I helped her/him, I offer automatically support more next time.
The 3-Steps to convince men to give you support
Step 1: Ask men for the support he is already giving. Purpose: Men will be used to listening to get asked and women learn how to ask properly.
Step 2: Ask men for support even when you feel he will decline it. Purpose: Women will get used to rejection and men will feel accepted even when he declines it.
Step 3: Assertive asking with Pregnant Pause technique and understanding why men are so sensitive about it. Purpose: Understanding the difference between men’s and women’s needs.
This post talks about the average woman and man. It does not intend to generalize everyone.