Are You an Asker or a Giver?byBakeboss©
Most of us are raised in one of two cultures in this world. One side sees no dilemma in asking for something they desire. They do not feel they are intruding, for all you need do is to say no to the query. The other factor tends not to ask for things unless they feel the answer would be yes. This side would prefer to put out feelers to find out what the other side thinks about a request and in fact is hoping for an offer before the request is made. Even after an offer is made, the person tries to ascertain as to the sincerity of said offer before it is accepted.
Although there is no right or wrong side to these cultures, when the two are brought together it usually makes for unpleasantness for the giver. While the asker fails to see the harm in asking, the giver feels it's rude to deny a request. This results in the giver giving up things or favors he doesn't really want to just to keep decorum. Many times the asker has no idea he is overstepping the bounds of courtesy thus insulting the giver even further. Often the asker fails to understand the subtle hints and feelers the giver is sending and thus neglects to offer said favor. Their standard line when approached about this is, 'all he had to do was ask' something the giver is loath to do.
As I look at these two cultures, it is not hard for me to see why my first marriage failed, as she definitely was an asker and I am a staunch giver. To exacerbate the problem I was head over heels in love with her and all I wanted was to give her the world. As for her, she always felt I could always say no to something I didn't want to do and so she thought everything was aces. As I stewed in the soup of resentment, she enjoyed a soufflé of blasé that I took for uncaring. Even in the divorce settlement, I gave up things just because I felt uncomfortable saying no to her.
There are many countries that fit into these styles of people, for example, Briton and America run into trouble doing business in Japan. Japan is what is considered a giver country and they are often outraged by our brashness in outright asking for things. Yet we consider the Russians rude because they are an asker nation. There are many who feel that much of the prejudice against Jews is not because of who they are but that so many feel no compunction in asking for something they desire. Of course, you need to realize I'm speaking generalities here, as there is no way to pigeonhole a country or a race of people into just one culture.
As an employee who is of the giver type, that boss whom you consider an uncaring SOB, might be only an asker who thinks you will just say no if you can't stay late to finish a project. An asker won't think it rude to ask to stay in your guest room but you the giver resent the agony of having to say no.
There are many self-help groups that claim they can teach a giver how to say no. I'm sure many people will think this is the right approach to solving this dilemma but I'm not so sure that I agree with them. I am comfortable with my lot in life as a giver and I can't agree that if I became an asker that my life would be better. Maybe once brain washed into being an asker instead of a giver I would stop worrying about the impositions I would now be putting people through just to satisfy my own agenda. I mean after all they could always say no couldn't they. Would the world be a better place with no more givers, only askers? Is it just for the sake of manners that I don't like to put people out on a limb? We know the standards of etiquette change; I've heard that it was once polite to belch at the table in order to show the host how the meal was enjoyed. No, I'm sorry, that's just not how I'm built, and as much as I hate being imposed upon, to me it is even worse to impose on others.
To me it will now be a better world just to understand the workings of an asker. Knowledge is power and now that you know that an asker doesn't mind being turned down maybe it will be easier to do so. As for myself, I prefer to plod along as a giver and if I extend myself too far so be it but my conscience will remain clear.