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On Asking and All the Right Words

         I read somewhere that asking for help is the quickest way to get someone to like you. I’ve tried it a couple times. At most, it endears you.


         I grew up thinking it meant being weak. Ask had the same connotation as plead. And that makes you think of pride. Losing face. 


         When I asked for something, I started with “I’m sorry” instead of “please”. People told me to stop apologizing. 


         Be more direct. Stand up straighter. Speak louder. Instead of saying “I’m sorry”, say “can you do this?” Keep it short. Simple.


         I started seeing that there was something to that. I shortened the explanations, didn’t feel like I needed to justify every time I couldn’t do something with an entire ballad. A sonnet. Pentameter and all.


         It’s okay to say you can’t. “No” is a perfectly fine answer.


         To say no, to understand that you don’t need to apologize for asking. To understand you have the right to ask for things. A right to say you just don’t want to do something, to say NO. Those are issues we fight for, aren’t they?


         To be heard without feeling wrong about it. There’s power in that.  


Sophia Whittemore is a Correspondent for the Dartmouth HXCampus branch. When not working on HXCampus, they're writing webcomics on Webtoons, Pride books for Wattpad, was a staff writer at AsAm News, and has published the "Impetus Rising" series back when they were in high school. Sophia's also a geek, but who isn't?
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