In the previous article in this series, we discussed Why We Don't Ask For What We Want.
The idea of simply asking for what we want often raises fears.
And yet, just because we fear simply and directly asking for what we want, whether or not that fear may be fully justified, that doesn't mean the desire goes away.
It often gets expressed somehow.
Expressed in some way that avoids the fear.
This is called "desire smuggling".
The desire is smuggled inside of some other statement, request, observation, action, or inaction.
Desire smuggling is one of those things that once you learn about it, you start seeing it everywhere.
Here are some examples of desire smuggling:
stating in terms of identity
"would you like to..."
using drunkenness as an excuse
rational cost/benefit (here are the logical reasons why this would be a good idea, without actually mentioning that we want it)
getting them to say it first
wanting them to guess
statistics ("you know, lots of people like...")
giving someone articles about what you want (without mentioning what it is that you're after)
"just" ("if you'd just...")
withholding until they give you what you want (without having said what you want)
punishing until you get what you want
attacking someone who is getting what you want
When we notice we're using desire smuggling, we can evaluate what the underlying fears are. Perhaps there's something we could do to address the fears directly. Or perhaps after consideration, we realize those fears aren't actually that important, or perhaps actually unlikely.
Which brings us to how to Ask For What You Really Want.