Ask Right Now: The Power of Opening Your Mouth

She should ask her doctor why her co-pay is so high.

My 3-year-old nephew has not yet learned to bite his tongue. When he’s try to “drive” his big plastic police car across my bed and I’m in the way, he will shout “Move over!” a million times in the same tone. When we took him to a Mexican restaurant, the hungry fella matter-of-factly requested rice and eggs, period. And he got it.

Adults, in contrast, tend to be more lax about obtaining their specific desires. We want time off or better customer service at Ulta or more time to pay our Verizon Wireless bill (they’re great!), but we bite our tongues because we think it’s just not worth the trouble. We’re afraid of rejection, or we may even think we have no right to ask.

But no matter how disillusioned you are with the cliche about closed mouths, most of the time, we don’t get what we want because we don’t ask. It’s as simple as that.

Every human being–from the fun-loving toddler to the hardworking grownup–has a right to speak up. It’s highly unlikely that someone other than the associate at McDonald’s will ask you, specifically, what it is you want. During a recent doctor’s visit, for example, my physician insisted everything was hunky-dory, but I wasn’t convinced. When I asked her to check again, she realized I was correct. If I had just taken her word for it, I wouldn’t be on the road to answers right now.

The next time you want something–a few days off from work, a closer examination when the doctor insists you’re fine, more beans in your Chipotle burrito bowl–say so. Even if you don’t get the results you were looking for, your confidence in your own voice will increase. You don’t have a right to get everything you ask for, but you do have a right to open your mouth.