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Top : Book Review : Getting What You Want (And Being Liked for It)

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Getting What You Want (And Being Liked for It)

Getting What You Want (And Being Liked For It). The sections excerpted cover the power of "Direct Anger" and "Positive Acknowledgement" statements.

Direct Anger

Direct anger is healthy anger. Essentially it is the main tool to get what you want. It is absolutely essential for success in using the "Lewis Approach." In direct anger you take responsibility to communicate to another exactly what your needs are, how they can be met, and instruct the person to do that for you. You assume full responsibility for getting your needs met. Direct anger gives clear and concise instructions on how to please you.

Using direct anger, you utilize action words which instruct people how to please you, emphasizing the importance the issue has to you. This taps into the innate desire in human nature to want to please others. People like pleasing others. We all do. You also directly instruct people what to do for you to meet your needs and make you happy. You do not depend on the other person to "figure out" what you want, even if you think they should know this. Your responsibility is to help people to meet your needs.

By utilizing direct anger, you empower the person to have the knowledge, ability and motivation to please you. Direct anger is also a change agent; it creates the change you want (i.e., getting your needs met). Your situation or position changes from one state of mind to another. Direct anger allows you to effectively resolve any differences much faster because it focuses the problem-solving process on the issue (i.e., what you want) and helps things to progress more smoothly and positively.

Using Direct Anger

How then do you use direct anger? Begin your sentences with an action verb. Use actions words (verbs) that direct, clarify, and instruct. Start sentences with words such as: Go, Do, Give, Take, Tell, Handle, Remove, Explain, Describe, Let, Allow, Say, Be, etc. The following are examples of phrases to illustrate:

  • "Tell me if you can get here by three o'clock."

  • "Go to the store for me."

  • "Give me time to think about that."

These words make it easier for the other person to do what you want them to do for you. They also give the person the option to exercise their free will. Give them clear and concise guidelines on how to please you and what would make you happy. Implicit in all this: You are telling the other person how to be successful with you.

Direct Anger = Loving Yourself

One of the most important points about direct anger is: It is loving to the person expressing and to the person receiving. You express love to yourself when you focus on getting your own needs met and communicating what makes you happy. And it expresses love for the person receiving because it empowers them to be a success with you. You are telling them what to do for you to make you happy; and when they feel that they made you happy, they feel pleased. When we get our needs met, we essentially feel loved.

For example, you may ask a guest to spend more time with you. But they may have another engagement. Your responsibility is to tell the person the importance their staying has to you: "I know you have to go, but stay a little while longer. It is important to me. I'd appreciate it."

At this point, both of you will most likely have a clear picture of what would make each of you happy. The person might respond: "I'll stay five more minutes and then leave." You might reply, "Okay. Let’s arrange for you to stay longer next time. Tell me if that works for you."

Here is a detailed example of the power and effectiveness of Using Direct Anger. Firstly, however, we will show how people use passive anger--typically what people who are in a dependent position use.

A couple, John and Mary, had recently split up. John had Mary's CD player and Mary wanted it back. Here's their conversation:

Mary: "I want my CD player back."

John: "I'm not going to give you your CD player back until you give me my picture back."

Mary: "What picture?"

John: "The one that I gave you two Christmases ago."

Mary: "That's my picture. You gave it to me."

John: "Well, I had to give you your TV back. What about that?"

Mary: "I only loaned that to you. I didn't give that to you."

Based on this dialog, do you think Mary will get her CD player back? We don't think so. At this point, Mary felt she needed to take a stronger position:

Mary: "If you don't give me my CD player back, I will sue you."

Do you think this will work? John’s response? He decided he’d take a stronger position:

John: "Oh yeah? Well I’ll sue you too, for the cost of my fixing your car."

These two statements of John and Mary may sound forceful or powerful to you. The fact is, they are very weak. No one is getting anything and there is no resolution in sight. If they were to actually act on their threats, each of them would expend much energy, time, and money--and they’d still be very upset with each other!

What is happening here? No one is taking responsibility for getting their needs met! Both John and Mary are totally depending on the other person to meet their needs. This situation could have been successfully resolved if one of them became more selfish about their needs and used direct anger to get those needs met.

To illustrate the power and effectiveness of using direct anger, here is the conversation using direct anger.

Mary: "John, give me my CD player back."

John: "I'm not going to give you your CD player back until you give me my picture back."

Mary: "I understand you want your picture back and we’ll talk about that in a minute. In the meantime, arrange to return my CD player back this weekend when I am home."

John: "Well, will I get my picture back?"

Mary: "I can understand what you are saying. But, let's talk about your returning my CD player. Arrange to bring it back on Saturday. I would appreciate that."

John: "You’re gonna have to sue me first!"

Mary: "No, don't tell me to sue you. Make it easy for me and bring my CD player back this Saturday. I would like that."

John: "Why should I bring it back to you?"

Mary: "John, go out of your way for me. It is important for me to get my CD player back. Do this for me."

John: "Well, what are you gonna to do for me? You always want me to do things for you. What will you do for me."

Mary: "Don't ask me to do anything for you. Make me happy and bring back my CD player this Saturday. I'd really like that."

Do you think John is now more likely to return Mary's CD player in this situation? We think so. Personally, we have had this situation happen many times. In every instance, each person got what he or she wanted. Even if John did not return the CD player, both of them would feel a lot better as a result of this dialogue. More than likely, if this type of conversation continued over a period of time, John would eventually return the CD player. When John did return the CD player, Mary would then thank him for doing so. She could tell him how happy it made her or how this pleased her. We must always reward people for pleasing us. When you acknowledge that you got what you wanted, you don’t feel guilty. Again, another healthy result of the use of direct anger.

Anger is Like "Emotional" Money

Anger is like "emotional" money. When you feel frustrated, anxious, fearful, worried, disappointed, etc., view these feelings of anger as money. Why? All of these feelings represent your needs not being met; your not getting what you want. Use your anger (direct), as you would use money: to get what you want.

We use money to buy what we want: food, clothing, candy, movies tickets, etc. If we have the money, we can buy whatever we want. In short, we can get what we want with the use of money. But, when you use passive anger (become upset, shout, blame others, etc.) you will not get anything for your "money." View this type of anger ("emotional" money) like counterfeit money; people will not honor it. Instead, they will resist or fight you. Replace using that type of "money" (passive anger) and get something for your "money" by using direct anger. Direct anger is like using real "money." You use this "money" (direct anger) to tell people how to do things for you and give you want you want. People will honor this "money."

Remember, the main reason for anger: we are not getting our needs met. Our progress is being blocked, either physically, emotionally or spiritually. Our anger serves to give us the energy to get our needs met or to remove barriers that impede our progress.

When we view anger from the perspective of "money," we begin to see how our anger can be used to our advantage--to get what we want. Then we can focus our anger effectively.

For example, Philip bought a sports car and showed his girlfriend Alice.

Alice: "Does it seat children?"

Philip: "You are so stupid! Of course not. What happened to your common sense?"

Alice: "You are the one that’s stupid. Why are you buying a car like that? You can’t even afford it."

Philip: "How do you know what I can afford? You can’t do anything right yourself; you can’t keep a job, you can’t keep a clean house. How do you think you can take care of your children if you can barely take care of yourself?"

Alice: "You are the one who lost your job. You’re such an idiot. You spend you life savings on a car when you don’t even have a job."

In this example, each person is using anger (money) passively and getting "nothing for their money."

How could Alice use anger like money? After Philip’s verbal abuse, she could say:

Alice: "Stop talking to me like that and be nicer to me."

Philip: "I’m not going to be nice to you. You are not nice to me."

Alice: "Philip, be nice to me and say things good about me. I’d like that."

Philip: "Why should I?"

Alice: "I understand that. Just be nice to me. I’d appreciate that."

In this instance, Alice is using her anger like money (direct anger) to get what she wanted: for Philip to be nicer to her. In doing so, she focused on telling him how to talk to her in a way that she liked. Use your anger like money to instruct people what to do for you or how to give you what you want.

Let’s consider a situation where you use anger (money) but do not get anything in return. In this case, your money (anger) is being wasted. For example, if a friend criticized you for eating junk food and you felt upset and became angry, you could use this anger as money.

You might respond: "You always criticize me about the food I eat."

Your friend: "You told me you wanted a better diet."

You: "Well, that was yesterday."

Your Friend: "You always change your mind. I never know what you want."

You: "If you were really concerned about me, you would know."

Obviously, here the anger (money) is not being used to get what you want. The conversation is going nowhere, nor does it sound friendly or beneficial to anyone. Your friend does not seem to be getting what she wants either. Both are expending lots of anger (money) and getting nothing. No matter how much anger you expend here, you are not getting what you want. This type of fruitless interaction occurs frequently with people. Then they wonder why they are not satisfied.

Let’s discuss the flip-side of this example. Your friend tells you that you are eating junk food. As soon as you feel the anger build inside you think of your anger as being money. Your next thought is, what do you want to get for your money (anger): To tell the other person to do something for you. This is an important point to emphasize. To do this, you have to figure out what you want. Do you really want your friend to refrain from criticizing the food you eat and let you enjoy it? You could tell your friend to join you in eating. Or, you could tell them to discuss the topic of food and diet next week. The important thing is: to get what you want from the other person with your real money (direct anger) by telling them to do something for you! You don’t use it to throw your counterfeit money (passive anger) all over the place with insults and judgments of the other person and wind up with nothing but hostility coming back at you.

Sometimes we think we may get what we want by criticizing others. This doesn’t works. Criticism only stirs resentment. It’s like "burning a bridge" with another person. You figure if the other person won’t give you what you want, you might as might as well get the satisfaction of insulting or criticizing that person. However, this may sound justified, but it is not. Why? You now have made the person angry with you, and they may verbally attack you. Further, when you criticize someone, you automatically experience natural feelings of guilt. Anytime you criticize someone, even if they deserve it, you will have some sense of guilt.

It is important to emphasize here that if you do not use the anger to get what you want, the anger will build up inside of you and cause you to feel bad or depressed. Direct anger is a positive tool to help you get what you want. Moreover, it fuels you with the necessary energy to get your needs met. If you do not use this healthy anger to get your needs met, you remain unsatisfied and frustrated, which further increases the anger within you. Then depression sets in. Avoid these unpleasant and negative feelings and use the real money (direct anger) to get what you want. You’ll please yourself as others please themselves simultaneously. It really works!


Positive Acknowledgment

One way to help you get through another person’s resistance is to give the person a positive acknowledgment. Use positive words to give the other person credit. This will influence their reaction to you and they will respond in a way that is more pleasing. Giving credit means you respect the person’s opinion or viewpoint, even if you don’t particularly like what they’ve said. The use of a positive acknowledgment is designed to help shift the person from being critical or judgmental to being more positive and accepting of you. It diminishes their need or desire to resist. Additionally, it disarms the other person, in a non-confrontational way, because they feel accepted by you. They feel heard and understood. They now have less a need to be critical, judgmental, or aggressive with you.

Another aspect of positive acknowledgment is that it automatically puts you in the authoritative role in a way that is acceptable to the other person. Why? Because you take the initiative in determining what is good or acceptable about what they’ve said, and giving them credit for that--whether you agree or not. Using a positive acknowledgment can also be used very effectively with people who are already in a positive state of mind. It will further them to support your view point.

Use a positive acknowledgment statement primarily when someone is being critical or judgmental, which may make you feel uncomfortable. Positive acknowledgment statements can also be very effective when dealing with aggressive people. It helps defuse the person’s (passive) anger with you, even if you’ve done something to hurt, frustrate or discomfort them. People will be more receptive and listen to what you are saying when you first use a positive acknowledgment. Further, it provides you with a lead--in to using direct anger to tell the person what to do for you to make you happy or to feel more comfortable. This also makes it much easier for you to not take on the other person’s problem.

In short, using a positive acknowledgment statement sets the tone for a positive conversation between yourself and the person. You invariably will have more success with people when you deal with them within a positive framework rather than a negative one. Then people will see you as being more confident, secure, decisive, and in control. These qualities all convey a sense of ease, security, and reassurance. People will like you more, respond to you better, and they will think that you like them more. Moreover, when you are in a positive position, people will feel freer to express their true viewpoint about things, reassured that they would not be criticized by you.

Let’s look at some positive acknowledgment examples. If you are being criticized, judged, or verbally attacked by someone, use positive acknowledgment statements:

A. "Thank you for coming to me and helping me to understand the problem."

B. "I'm glad you are telling me how you feel."

C. "Thanks for taking the time to go over this with me."

People hearing these responses do not feel threatened or offended. They feel accepted. Again, you are in the authoritative role: telling others what is good or acceptable about what they are saying to you. Now you are in a position to start using direct anger to tell the person what to do for you.

For example, if a person says: "You made a mistake today! You were supposed to call before you came over here. You know I am not ready." What is that person’s problem? They are concerned about being ready. This is the person’s insecurity, not yours. This is an ideal time to use a positive acknowledgment statement. Your response: A. "Thanks for telling me that." B. "I appreciate your concern about my coming over." C. "I can see what you are saying about that." This sets up this conversation as more neutral and less confrontational. The person is upset with you, but you have neutralized the verbal attack on you. When most people accuse you of doing something to them, they automatically expect you to defend your position or attack back. Using the positive acknowledgment gives people a response they do not expect. You have given them credit and acceptance for what they have said. This, then, decreases their motivation to continue their verbal attack on you. All of these benefits make your life easier with that person, and they like you more as well.

Another way to reduce people’s resistance: Be as clear as possible with the person about what you want them to do for you. The more they understand what you want them to do, the easier it will be for them to reduce their resistance. Use as much "positive selfishness" as you can. Think of yourself being a teacher who is providing all the necessary information a person’s needs to be a success with you.

You might say: "Go to the movies with me next Saturday at 8:00 p.m. I would really like that." Don’t say: "Do you feel like going to the movies?" The first statement is clear and specific about what you want (positive selfishness)). You are telling the person what to do to make you happy. You have also given a specific date and time. The second statement, which is actually a question, is not really clear as to what you want the person to do to make you happy. One might assume that you want the person to go to the movies with you, but that is not clear. In reality, you may not really want to see a movie. Moreover, a question conveys a sense of indecisiveness or even apprehension. This may create anxiety in the other person, which can cause them to resist.

Continue this process of being as clear as you can about what you want, and express the importance the issue has to you. The person will eventually be able "borrow your confidence." If they lack sufficient strength to overcome their own resistance, they will be able to use your strength, which arises from using "positive selfishness."

Often we assume that the other person knows what we want them to do for us. Never assume this. Seldom do others really knows what you want exactly without you telling them. Even if they did, they’d do what you wanted in their way, not yours. And this might not please you. We’ve all heard statements such as: "Well, he should have know that I don't like that?" This happens all of the time. Assuming others should know forces them to either guess or go through a trial-and-error process to give us what we want. This is too difficult and frustrating. People end up resisting and you end up not getting what you want. To avoid this, be as clear as you can about what you want. Then use positive acknowledgment statements to overcome resistance. Both parties will enjoy better communication and a happier relationship.

Click here to Order "GETTING WHAT YOU WANT And Being Liked..."

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24-Jun-2001 Hits: 470 Rating: 0 Votes: 0 Rate It


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