I met with a school friend after a long time. We had so much to talk and share with each other. It was great to get connected. She is a super-specialist in a medical speciality. Works in a government hospital and the attached medical college as a faculty member. I was a little surprised at her decision. In today’s materialistic world, she could have made tons of money in private practice or working in a bigger private hospital. So I started quizzing her about her choice of career.
She gave me many different and commendable reasons. She thought that she owed a lot to the system that helped her get the education and she needed to payback in someway. Working with the government hospital would help her make the biggest contribution and payback. By being a faculty member, she would be able to help create the new generation of medical professionals.
One reason she gave, though jokingly, was that she found it very difficult to ask for something to anybody. If she went in private practice, she would find it very difficult to ask the patient for the fees. . That started this chain of thoughts.
We suffer from this problem from time to time, though with different degrees. We feel shy about asking to others. So when we want to borrow money in an emergency, even to a close one, we are awkward. I feel very shy asking for a book or money that I have lent to someone.
The level of shyness depends on who we are asking and for what. Closer we are to the person whom we are asking , less awkward we feel. More we think we deserve or need what we are asking for, less awkward we feel.
I am no psychologist, so I don’t know what leads to this awkwardness. Is it fear of rejection? What will happen if we ask for a favour and the person in front rejects the request? I think in some way, it hurts our self esteem. We feel smaller than we are. We feel humiliated. And we would rather risk not getting what we want and the subsequent consequences, rather than being humiliated.
However, if we don’t ask for what we want, we are most certainly not going to get it. It’s always our choice. We can either ask and increase our chances of getting it, or never get it. I have met with people who would never ask, rather than risk a no.
I have learnt from my own experience that someone rejecting my request, doesn’t make me any smaller than what I am. It increases my chance of getting what I want. If I didn’t risk a rejection by asking Geeta for her hand, I would never get such a wonderful wife.
So go ahead, have courage, and ask for what you want.