How to Ask People for Things
As you may have seen, the other week I went over why it’s okay to ask people for things. But it’s important to know that there’s an art to asking people for things. Obviously going up to someone and being like “Hey Taxicab give me a free ride to Brooklyn” ain’t gonna fly. So here’s my guide on how to going about the ask.
For the purposes of this article I’m going to use the example of needing to stay at a friend’s place for a few nights in a foreign city since lately I had to ask two lovely ladies for just this, so, ya. I’m up on this one. Alright let’s do this!
You should always start out saying you hope someone’s doing well/ asking how they’re doing.
(Ex: Hey X, Hope you’re doing great and Paris is a blast. Been loving all the photos).
This gesture is just being polite, people! Nobody wants to feel like they’re giving handouts to a rude person. I’m sure you know this already but I figured I should add it for good measure.
Be straight up about what you want
(Ex: I’ll actually be in town for two weeks in November, and am need of a place to crash).
Being honest upfront will avoid surprises. If you say something vague or fudge how long you need to stay with a person, you’ll be put on their shit list or get no results. Don’t stress people out.
Then followup what you want with your ask
(Ex: Would it be alright if I crashed with you for a few days?)
After saying what you’re looking for, making it into a question will leave it open ended for the person on the receiving end. It makes them able to respond with something like “I’m sorry but I don’t have space,” or “I’ll be out of town,” and not feel like you’re intruding on them.
Let them know what you can accommodate in return
(Ex: If you ever need a place in New York, I got you.” or “I promise to be clean, quiet and come with a stock of toilet paper!)
This will let them know what you’re working with. It’s a nice gesture.
Lastly, let them know if they can’t give you want you’re asking for, that it’s not the end of the world for you.
(Ex: If not, no biggie, I’d still love to see you while in town.)
The last thing you want is to make things awkward between you and this person. It’s always a good idea to leave things on a positive note. Afterall, they’re your friend, so the last thing you want to do when asking someone for something is act like this is the be all, end all. If you’re a decent person, it really shouldn’t be.
Hey X, Hope you’re doing great and Paris is a blast. Been loving all the photos. I’ll actually be in town for two weeks in November, and am need of a place to crash. Would it be alright if I stayed with you for a few days? I promise to be clean, quiet and come with a stock of toilet paper. Also, if you ever need a place in New York, I got you. If not, no biggie, I’d still love to see you while in town!”