I must say it was not an easy task. I am not used to ask. Even when I was a child, I never ever asked my parents for anything – sweets, presents – nothing. Even when I really wanted something, I would have never every asked for it. Why? I was happy with what I had, and I also did not want to bother anyone or I just knew that I could do this by myself, so why asking?
Only now I have realised that in many cases it might have been easier also for the people around me, if I actually asked.
So how the power of asking can change your life abroad?
- If you are lost in a new place or not sure where to go – ask for the direction. Once when I did it when I moved to Siena, and I actually not only received information regarding the directions, but also help caring my bags (and I had many of them);
- Ask locals for the best places in town (= the gems, which are hidden from typical tourist);
- Do not be afraid to ask your friends for help, when you need it. For example, it was late Sunday evening in London and I was having a dinner with a friend, when I remembered that I had to buy flowers, so I asked my friend, if there are any open shops (as I could not think of any). Not only I was told where to go, but actually that friend had driven me there and back J
- If you want to meet new people – ask someone you already know for local gatherings, places to visit. If you do not know anyone yet – ask in the local shops, sport clubs or just a pass by person. For instance, in this way I got involved in Ispra’s international community and met most of my local friends.
- If you need help with paper work in a new place (visa, residence and registration papers etc) – ask your friends, who have already done this, if they cannot advise you, they would definitely know someone who can.
In order to master the power of asking, there are also some simple rules to learn:
choose the right time and place to ask – use your intuition and sensibility to determine when and where: for example, if your friend is finishing her paper with today’s deadline, it might be better to wait till tomorrow to ask her for the information as to where it is better to go for a weekend.
- Do not ask obvious things or something to what you can easily find an answer by yourself. I used to have a colleague, who has been asking something all the time and to most of these questions she would have been able to find answers in less than 1min only if she wanted.
- Ask with the reason. Do not ask just for the sake of asking. Ask only if you really want to find out the answer. Then in longer term, the chances that you get what you ask are much greater. Whereas if you ask constantly the people will just stop taking your requests seriously.
And now the task: make a list of 3 things, which you really want and with which others can help you. Done? Now go and ask J and let me know in the comments