#4: Not Asking For What One Wants Because They Are Afraid Of The Other’s Reaction


You’re in a coffee shop. You’ve switched on your laptop and need to get on with some work… you have lots to do. The elderly gentleman next to you is sipping his coffee, and frequently trying to share with you a conversation… ‘So, what do you do?’, ‘Where are you from?’, ‘Did you see the news last night?’,’What do you think of my socks?’. Sure, this guy looks a little lonely and you think he benefits hugely from the occasional conversation. You are anxious about asking for peace and expressing that presently you need to get on with work. How can you be clean in your communication?

Between Friends

For a while now you and a friend have got on well. In fact, you are starting to like them – as more than just a friend. You would like things to go further, but you really aren’t sure if this talk will make things awkward. Only one way to find out… Oh, the joys of having that conversation!

Friendship Circle

You’ve lived with friends for a while now, and you’ve always had the smaller room. However, all of you pay identical rent. You don’t think this is fair, and wish to approach the group about this situation. You don’t, however, wish to cause offence, but think something needs to be said. How can you be clean in your communication?

Marriage Partner

Your husband plays golf every Sunday. . . and three times in the week. This Sunday, you’d really like your husband to miss a golf tourament, and spend a bit of time with you. You both work busy jobs, and haven’t spent quality time with each other for several months. You know this tournament is important, but your time together is even more so. How can you be clean in your communication?

The Workplace

Any chance of a pay raise? How about a day-off as you would really like to see your son in his school play/soccer match? A promotion? An extension for a piece of work?… The relationship between employee and employer is so regularly un-clean. In all of the above, how can you be clean in your communication?

Church, Community, Volunteer Organization

You’ve volunteered with your local community group for the past several years. The thing is, you wish you had a little more time in the week so are thinking of leaving this group and its commitments. You’ve built up a strong friendship circle here, and the other volunteers think of you highly. You have worked hard and earned their trust. It’s going to be a real challenge to speak to the group and share with them your thoughts. It would almost be less painful if you just stayed. In fact, thinking like this is making you change your thoughts anyway. How can you be clean in your communication?

Other Example

You’re in the library. You have work to do and the people next to you are chatting (noisily). It’s preventing you from being able to concentrate. Sure, you could move… but this is a library, and you believe it’s considerate if people are quiet. How can you be clean in your communication?