Timing, Place, and Words


Yesterday my spouse came home from work and found me sculpting in my art studio, a bedroom that he had graciously converted for me.  I didn’t bother to say ,“Hello,” “How are you?” or “How was your day?”  I had one thing on my mind at the moment.  Quite abruptly, I said, “I need more light.”  Needless to say, that went over like a lead balloon.  He was kind enough to let me know how it affected him.

IMG_3428A couple of minutes later he came back into the room and asked if we could start over.  I’m grateful that he gave me this opportunity.  As is my usual custom, I was able to say, “Hi, Honey.  How was your day?” before I launched into my request.  Later we went to the hardware store and bought a light fixture, which he installed that very evening.

How much more pleasant that interaction could have been from the beginning if I’d been more considerate of where he was mentally before I jumped in with my request, which I’m sure sounded more like a demand.

I have a much better chance of a successful outcome in getting my needs met if I choose the right time, the right place and the right tone of voice before I speak.  This especially applies to getting my emotional needs met.

From now on I will be more courteous, considerate, and judicious of time, place, and tone of voice when asking for help. 



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