February 27, 2013

If you don't ask, you don't get.

an oldie, but still one of my faves.

Can I talk about this guy for a minute? Just for a minute, I promise. To be quite honest with you, three-quarters of the time this guy drives me bat-shit crazy, and we both, in fact, routinely make sadistic jokes about desiring to push the other down the stairs or inflict other mild injuries that won't necessarily mortally wound but will definitely cause discomfort, but despite that, we love each other like crazy. I think finally, after three years of marriage, we're both feeling very secure in that fact. 

Lately I have felt this profound sense of gratitude for being given the gift of this relationship and its influence in my life. I remember having a conversation with my mom once, really early on in my relationship with Matthew, and I was telling her about what a go-getter he is, how driven and determined and assertive he is. She was super happy for me and my happiness, of course, but I remember her bringing it to my attention that often the things we love about our sigO in the beginning are the very same personality traits that wind up driving us nuts later on, or manifesting themselves in different ways that aren't as attractive. And I think that has been so true for both me and Matthew. Determined and assertive can also feel like stubborn and abrasive, at times... things like that. But I am learning to accept the good with the not-so-good, and love this man I married for all the things that make up who he is, even the parts I'm not as fond of. I'm sure he could write an entire book on my not-so-good traits, as well, so touché. 

Anyway, that was two whole paragraphs just to get warmed up and say what I really want to say. I felt compelled to tell it here because not everyone has a Matthew in their life, and I wanted to share some of the lessons this guy has taught me.  

From day one of meeting him, I have been blown away by his sheer tenacity (as evidenced in our love story and his persistence in the beginning there). Nevermind that he's a good-looking guy who may or may not possess a Super Power of melting people's brains with his eyes, but besides that, he simply does the hard or uncomfortable things that most people won't, like sometimes simply asking for what he wants or needs. Not accepting the current standard or rules. Expecting better from people.

I think the number one thing I've learned from Matthew can be summed up in a phrase I've heard him say multiple times over the last four years of knowing him: "if you don't ask, you don't get." I think so often we all live with this crippling fear of rejection... maybe it's a pride thing, or maybe it's just a lack of confidence thing. But too often we are afraid to reach out, to negotiate, to ask for a discount, to invite a prominent person in your profession out to lunch, and so on. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed this guy simply asking for something I would have been way too chicken to ask for, and then he gets it. So much of the time! He has saved us literally thousands of dollars on things like furniture or car repairs or vet visits or prescriptions, because he'll ask if there are discounts available to people like students or he'll search online for coupons or otherwise just take extra steps that "normal" people (such as myself) are too lazy to take, and then we pay extra for it. Another example! Back when he started law school, he found a guy on LinkedIn that was a part of the same fraternity in a different state back in college, graduated from his same law school, and is now a partner in a local law firm, and Matthew just cold-called the guy and asked him out to lunch. He made a good connection and friend he now sees all the time. Things like that. The list goes on and on of these things I've seen Matthew do, but the bottom line is it's just a little extra effort that most people wouldn't make, and most importantly, he doesn't let fear of failure or rejection paralyze his life. The worst someone can say to you when you ask them for a favor is "no." And really, how bad is that? The reward usually always outweighs the potential risk. A little at a time, Matthew's no-apologies approach to pursuing goals is rubbing off on me, though I like to think I bring fine feminine sensibilities and more empathy to the table, which makes us a good team. ;)

Bottom line: ask for what you need! Whether that's from your significant other (I need more words of affirmation! I need more foreplay! I need marriage counseling! ha), from your cable provider (Matthew actually got our monthly bill down from over $100 to $40 once?!), your car mechanic, your wedding vendors, your boss, your friend, and the list goes on! It's not always about money, I hope I'm making that clear. It's just about not being ashamed or timid when it comes to creating your own life. If you don't ask, you don't get. A good thing to remember. :)

Happy Wednesday!

74 comments:

  1. Jenni! This is just so good...on so many levels. My dad raised me with the same mentality and it really is a form of thinking outside of the box in our culture. But I love people who do it! It reminds me there is reward in taking risk. And that inspires me....

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  2. It's been ages since I left a legit comment, so I thought I'd read one here. :) Because I do love this lesson (SO MUCH), and apply it in as many areas of my life as I can (yeah, not every area... I am working on being bolder). I still remember you telling me about this Matthew philosophy looooong ago! It is timeless.

    People just respect someone who acts fearless (even if s/he's not) and speaks up (even when it's scary). We all wish we had the courage to express ourselves and our desires when we feel innately prompted to do so, to just go for it without taking the time to weigh out the risk v. reward of the whole thing. If we do that, the opportunity is gone! I think at its heart, the lesson is to simply believe in yourself and your voice, and realize that rejection in moderation is fine and even healthy. So, just go for it already. It's a freeing concept, especially for worriers like me, right?

    xo. Happy Wednesday, Jenni! :)

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  3. Such a great post and I completely admire Matthew for this gift he has. I definitely have my moments like his, but there are so many times I could do more. Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. Excellent. I really like this... and LOVE you both!

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  5. love this!!! My husband and I share a very similar relationship with constant jokes and jabs at each other and the occasional "Im gonna punch you in the throat" type threat when we are irritating the crap out of each other... all out of love of course and by golly its never actually happened! Your mom was so right that the qualities we love in the beginning can sometimes drive you nuts later! For instance, I loved how laid back my husband was since Im the uptight go getter but now after 6.5 years of being together I get very irritated when he sits and complains about a situation but does nothing about it! Im like your hubby! Things cant change unless you take the initiative to change them yourself! If you dont ask you dont give! I love the man more everyday of my life and Im beyond blessed that he was chosen for me and I feel Im the one that has to push him to excel. Thats my job as his wife and Im totally okay with that! :) Love your hubs attitude... it's very much the way I live my life! :)

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  6. This is awesome! I literally just wrote that phrase out and posted it on my computer screen. Thanks so much for all of your words!

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  7. Hi Jenni! I've been a faithful reader for about a year now and your blog has turned into my little kick in the pants I need to get motivated most days. Todays post, and others like "How did you do on your new years goals?", really struck home to me. I appreciate your insights, keep it up!

    From Beautiful Victoria BC, Canada

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  8. kurt if you're reading this, all those times i ask for a massage just as you're about to fall asleep, I WANT IT! I asked and I didnt get! ;-) heheh

    this is a great message jenni and SO SO TRUE. I've experienced this before, specifically in the past few months! We really are scared to ask things based on the fear of rejection. This has amde me want to work on better communicating with people! Because sometimes, specifically when fighting with Kurt, i just get so hot tempered! So my request, for whatever I want, just comes out all yelly and grouchy and he never really "hears" my request, but more or less hears me being a bitch haha! You've inspired! So Thank you!

    also, your arguments with matthew about wanting to throw eachother down the stairs some days sounds like kurt and I sometimes!! I recall recently saying I wish i could stick a bobbi pin in his pee-hole. After I said that I just cringed at how HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE that would feel! then we literally killed ourselves laughing about it

    happy hump day!! and thanks for this!
    xoxoxo

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  9. Thank you for sharing these details about your relationship. And can I just point out that he has awesome teeth!

    I can truly relate to this as I too have a Matthew :) (Really, his name is the same!). Although I would never fully admit this, he has had a profound impact on the person I am today and had taught me to look on the brighter side of things, to not let things get to me so easily. Yes, all relationships go through ups and downs and at some points you may second guess if it's what you really want in life, but I can say with all honestly every single time that I am so happy to have him in my life.

    http://landoftheglam.blogspot.com

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  10. Ah thank you to Matthew *and you J!* for the clear reminder that we all need to remember. It may be hard, but agreed - it's worth it. Love the post!

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  11. I think this is a really important thing for me to remember, because I'm awful at asking for what I want/need.
    And on top of that, I think this was a really sweet post!
    <3 Kiersten

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  12. Matthew's a bold genius. I wish I had just half of his go-getter attitude! Maybe then I wouldn't still be in pajamas at 4pm!! Ah, who am I kidding. I'd be in pajamas regardless.

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  13. Very true indeed! My husband is the same way, not afraid to ask for what he wants, while I cower in the background. When we were negotiating my car deal, I sort of just wondered away and hoped for the best. haha! WE both need to learn from our husbands! =)

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  14. Such a great reminder, how lucky you both are to have each other! Thanks for sharing.


    www.McKennaBleu.blogspot.com

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  15. I love this post! And I'm thankful that I have my Matthew in my husband!

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  16. taking your post to heart... here goes

    can I have a free slot on your sponsor ad? haha. This girl to broke to sponsor.

    in all seriousness. Love this post. I'm pretty shy when it comes to things like that, I don't want to be disrespectful or that person feel like I'm just using that person. there definitely has to be a balance.

    Great post. And I was kidding about the sponsor ad. kinda well, not really. like you said, "you don't get if you dont ask:) haha!

    Cheers!
    kate
    www.kateandkuby.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Lol!! you are cracking me up here!! I had a feeling someone might say that... don't know why, but I just had a feeling!! There's definitely a balance, I find, especially when it comes to creative types...you don't want to offend them or come off like a cheapskate. But there's nothing wrong with respectfully asking for a discount. If/when I do it, I always try and make sure I mention that I totally think the person is WORTH what they charge, I just can't quite afford it!

      As for sponsoring, but I'd be happy to give you a discount when you're ready to go for it. :) Just remind me I said that! :P

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  17. I absolutely love this post. It is so true. The worst that can happen is that someone says no. But for some reason this rejection can cripple a person and torment them into not taking chances.
    It also reminded me that I need to ask for help more. I feel like a chicken with its head cut off lately and last night I found myself yelling "Mommy can't do it all folks!!" at the dinner table. If that isn't a sign that I need to ask for help then I don't know what is!!!
    Thank you for this reminder today =)
    Shannon

    www.smileandwrite1.blogspot.com

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  18. You are a mind reader. I kid you not. My father-in-law is always saying, "you don't ask, you don't get" and I have really been thinking about that a lot these last couple of weeks. I let the fear of rejection rip me off from most of the things in my life and I am so sick of it. Thank you for these encouraging words, Jenni. I needed to hear them. After all, like you said, the worst someone can say is no! No never killed anyone (from what I know at least).

    You are awesome.

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  19. Smart man that Matt. I needed that. My biggest fear in life is rejection and my greatest rewards and experiences have been a product of rejection. The initial sting hurts much less than the feelings leading up to it.

    I'm a basket case, but am so encouraged to know people get what they want, when they ask. Not just to those who wait.

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  20. My mom always says this! The more I grow, I have learned these words to be so true and I have seen their benefits. :)

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  21. Oh lordy, lordy Jenni. I am not an "asker" I used to be afraid to ask my mother for help with my homework, this is a fact. I'm better then I used to be, but nowhere near a Matthew, that man of yours.

    Listen, the first paragraph of this is hysterical. And I would love to say, "oh yeah, well my boyfriend..." but uhm, he's MIA.. find him for me? You found a good one, it only seems fair. But not a lawyer, because a lawyer will most likely win every argument and discussion and I have enough people in my life who win those. aka. best friend. yeah, mostly just her. that's enough people.

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  22. I about died when I read the foreplay sentence. It just hit me out of nowhere. hahahaha...you win the shocker award for the day.

    Dude, this is good advice. My SIL does this all the time...you'd be amazed at all the things my husband (her brother) fixes at her house and not at ours. I don't ask enough!!

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  23. Great post and darling hubby! This is a great reminder as well.

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  24. Well this is real great.

    REAL GREAT.

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  25. I've only been reading your blog since yesterday but it seems you just keep writing things that I NEED to read. I am not good at this at all. I guess the fear of rejection is just too much. Sometimes me not asking for things causes me to be annoyed at my boyfriend, but how can I expect him to do things that I don't even ask? I definitely need to live more like Matthew!

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  26. I just began following you yesterday as well. This was a great post! I not only admire him for being such a go getter but making no apologies for it! Awesome! My relationship is similar with the joking and jabs to one another. However, my hubby and I don't often ask enough for what we want or need. We make too many assumptions and should really take this message to heart! Thanks for sharing! He seems like a keeper!

    Robynslittlenest.com

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  27. I love this lesson.

    I also love seeing his face.
    :)

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  28. I love this! I feel like this is a lesson I have been very slowly learning since I got married just over a year ago. One day it just hit me: he can't read my mind. Obvious, but somehow overlooked. I have since realized that it kind of goes with all relationships. It's more than honesty...it's thinking hard about how you feel, and making an effort to speak your mind, even when it may be uncomfortable. And of course, extending the same courtesy to them. Great post!

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  29. This is SO TRUE. I love love love that Will is so meticulous in many ways, then when it manifests in other ways, I want to freak out on him, and I usually do. Oops lol. Matthew has a very good point too. If you don't ask, you never know. I have yet to have the nerve to ask for money off on things, but we've also gotten our cable bill lowered just by calling and asking.

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  30. Just like that time I asked for a free DSLR on facebook and someone actually gave one to me? :)

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  31. Can I just say that I threaten Brent with bodily harm all the time? Like really specific stuff that makes him wonder how much time I actually spend thinking about it ;)

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  32. I needed to read this today. Awesome. Thank you. You two are both an inspiration.

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  33. Oh my goodness I definitely needed to hear this! I am so afraid of rejection and confrontation and am introverted enough that it's really hard for me to ask for random things like you described, but I am SO jealous of the people like your hubs (for some reason usually guys...why do guys usually have healthier amounts of confidence and entitlement than women??)

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  34. I'm slowly learning this lesson myself. I'm often shy and timid when it comes to these things but every once in awhile, I give myself a little shove and am so proud when I get things done!

    Hats off to you, Matthew!

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  35. That man of yours is not only a hot lean pocket, but he is pretty dang smart! Him and Ross's mentality are so much alike it's crazy!! We are lucky ladies...glad they asked us to marry them! ;)

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  36. He is pretty dang hot. Love this post and I 100% agree. And it certainly doesn't hurt that he is so dang hot.

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  37. I am reading Declare by Joel Osteen to the munchikins right now. I think it goes along the same lines as what you are talking about in your post. We can also declare things for ourselves. I agreee with your sig0, if you don't ask you don't get. Gonna use that too with my munchkins. Thanks sig0!
    Cortne
    cocoinmagnolia.com

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  38. Such an important lesson, and probably literally the thing I am worst at in all of life. I HATE confrontation and asking people for favors (it literally makes me squirm) but I fully understand that that's the way the world works. Sometimes I can pass it off on my husband to do it for me, but A: that's not fair, and B: he's not always with me. Definitely something to work on.

    www.jbound.com

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  39. That is so true! Things that I adored about him when we were dating, drive me bonkers now-a-days...lol You have a great guy!


    happymedley.blogspot.com

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  40. That's really great advice. I'm someone who doesn't always ask for what they want, and it's refreshing to know that Matthew does. I need to take his advice, and do that more!
    And it's nice to read a post about Matthew. He seems like a really nice guy. Of course he is, since you married him! :)

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  41. Are you sure you weren't writing about my life? Why are we so afraid of rejection and not just asking for what we want? I admire my husband's boldness, which is a work in progress on my part. Great post!

    Lisa @ Daily Style Finds

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  42. that is a trait i definitely wish i had! go matthew :)

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  43. Love these posts where you really talk about "stuff". You've got good things to say, my friend. :)

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  44. This is a great lesson, thanks Matthew! I am just starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin, and being brave enough to ask for things. But I have started realizing, really the worst thing they can say is, no. I love how honest your posts are, very inspiring and thought provoking :)

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  45. This is great and so true! Thanks for a wonderful and inspiring post! :)

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  46. I so agree about the things you love turning into the things that annoy you. Now I wonder if it's the same for him... Haha. This post may spark a heated discussion! ;)

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  47. I, too, have a Matthew. I must have heard the phrase "It never hurts to ask" come out of his mouth a thousand times in the years we've been together. I'm the timid non-negotiator who then stews over the fact that I probably could have gotten a better deal. I agree to things I really don't want to do. My husband seldom suffers from these discomforts of my own making. He was the youngest hire at his corporation (a record he still holds), the guy who has perpetually good luck (which really isn't luck, I'm realizing, as he has everything to do with it), and the husband every single friend admires ("I want a Mario!"). But he makes me nuts. Absolutely nuts. As we sat at dinner the other night, surrounded by dating couples (it was quite obvious), I had an epiphany: I'd rather endure the ugh and argh moments with him than have to sit at a bar and try to sell myself to a near stranger. Ever. Again. Although I find it essential to evolve and change as individuals, I never have to be anyone but my flawed self around him. And that gets me through the "can I really be with the same person for 50 years" moments. It also helps that he makes me laugh. Few people amuse me as much as he does.

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  48. As always, what a great post! I like to use a quote by Anatole Frank, "To do great things we must dream as well as act". It's so easy to be scared of actually getting what we want, when often it is as simple as making a simple ask.

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  49. Just discovered your blog while searching "life blogs" to get some good reads on the ever so complicated thing called life... and I'm so happy I stumbled onto your blog! Love it and can't wait to read more of it! xoxo

    A new fan,
    Elle

    www.ellechoi.com

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  50. I love this post. Your husbands "drive" reminds me of my husband. He's actually rubbed off on me a bit though, I'm a huge dreamer and he gives me the stability I need to actually make my dreams a reality.

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  51. My husband's annual review is coming up. He's going to ask for a raise. He should have asked the last two but he kept saying, "They'd give me one if they could."

    Um....no. They are happy not paying you more. So...he's finally going to ask. What's the harm in asking?? He already thinks they will say no. He'll be surprised when they say yes after he lists why he should get a raise.

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  52. Love this, Jenni! Probably one of the most important things I've figured out in my short time of being married so far. Turns out Ian can't read my mind....who knew...

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  53. This is so so true and such good advice!!
    I am quite a reserved person especially when it comes to asking for things... I don't ask for too many favors, I can't and don't talk money (could never ask for a pay increase or a price discount) and I definitely don't like conflict...
    I could learn a thing or two from your man!
    x

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  54. O M G, as if i needed anymore evidence our men are basically cut from the same mold- justin is ALWAYS asking for things like discounts- to the point that it literally embarrasses me (who asks for a discount at Kohl's, for christsake? justin does. and justin gets that damn discount.) but it always works in the end. that boy has saved us some money, lemme tell ya.

    and it's sort of spilled over into my life, as well. i no longer feel weird or odd asking for things, because hey, like matthew says, if you don't ask, you dont get... GENIUS.

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  55. Jen,
    Thanks so much for this post. I have my own 'Matthew' (except his name is Jeremy) and I have realized as of late how much I have learned in our 11 years together.
    On another note..thanks for the catch phrase: 'if you don't ask, you don't get'..this phrase has really helped me calm down today. I have been super stressed out about my library's renovation. I am the librarian there, and the public has told me over and over again how they want a cozy (not modern looking art museum) library. I saw the colors and furniture recently on what is going in my library..can we say sterile art-deco? Not at all what the public wants. So I bravely mentioned it to my boss, who of course isn't pleased with me for messing up her plans. But no matter how it all turns out..I am going to tell myself..if I didn't ask about changing the colors and making it cozier..I wouldn't necessarily have the potential of getting it. Thanks so much!

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  56. Sooooo true! That's one of the things I had to get used to with my husband too. He's always the one to mention a discount, or a coupon, or barter, or whatever. Doesn't matter if it's at Target or his office! And I'm always the one floating around willy-nilly and easy going. It's good to have that balance though:-) xoxo

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  57. This is so true. Have you seen this talk on Few Women Leaders? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18uDutylDa4 Its about how women are less likely to ask for promotions, raise, etc. It's very intriguing. I think you and Matthew make a great team :)

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  58. It's so good that you've learned this lesson already. This is something that after almost nine years I am still working on, but do much better at than when I first got married. Men do not read our minds. Nobody does. My husband has no problem asking for what he wants. Haha :)

    LC from theworldofellesee

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  59. This is amazing! Definitely something that I need to make a part of my life, thanks for the advice :)

    Mandy
    throughthenewlywedlens.blogspot.com

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  60. One day. I think that's something that feeds into "happy". I'm working on it. Great post though. And props to Matthew.

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  61. That's an amazing attitude to have and something I need to work on more myself. I'm afraid of the rejection and for most people that's human nature, but it's not a good cycle.

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  62. Loved this post! I always worry about the rejection way to much and things pass me by!! Thanks for sharing!

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  63. This is so lovely, you can really see how you love him through the way you write about him

    http://bennettbox.blogspot.co.uk/

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  65. what a great post jenni. your love story gives me hope that one day i'll find that perfect person for me :)

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  67. I loved reading this post, it was great! I agree it is so true, if you don't ask the answer will always be no. It's amazing how much things can happen for you when you ask for things. Sometimes in life you're like no, they're going to say no anyways but if you don't know that until you ask. If they do so what.. it's just no. I am sure it's better than have not asking at all. You and your husband are a really cool couple.

    The one thing that clicked to me was the fact your husband is in school for law, reminds me of the show Suits! I think you should check it out or maybe you have, but it's a good show! I got hooked, because everyone was telling me about this show and I finally watched it. Of course the first season was already done and the second was just starting up but I managed to finish season one on time to start with season 2. Anyways.. probably or most likely off topic, but I wanted to throw that in there.

    Your posts are always great & hilarious!

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  68. Gotta love life lessons from Matthew!

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