The Art of Asking: The Answer Will Always Be No If You Don’t Ask

From day one, the thing our parents teach us and what we learn at school is that we all have to be self-sufficient in our lives. Our brains are trained in a way to live a life that depends the least on others and that we don’t ask anything from others which makes the importance of others in our lives is minimal.

In all this training of being self-sufficient, what most people forget is the fact that we all are humans and in one way or another, we are bound to connect with each other. Therefore, the whole fabric of society will fall apart if people started to avoid connecting with others. Thus, it becomes imperative that along with being self-sufficient people must also depend on each other. Depending on each other comes with the phenomenon of asking, therefore, to be successful in life, to understand life, and to live it in a better way we need to master the art of asking.

The Art of Asking

Asking Vs. Making People Do Things:

The contemporary approach of getting things done or pertaining to connecting with people is to make them do things. All the schools, colleges and universities teach us is how to get things done. They all teach us to apply extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to persuade people to do things. Parents deploy different strategies to get things done, whereas while the strange fact and the thing that would work 90 out of 100 times is asking people. On contrary to extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, when you ask people it makes them feel worthy of something and out of this worthiness they do their best to help you out in your problem.

Therefore, what people don’t realize is that all the energy, time and thought which they spend on making people do things could be saved if one can simply lean forward and ask from people. You can ask for help, ask for love, ask for money, ask for assistance, ask for sharing work, ask for care, and ask for kindness. There is nothing in this world, which you can have done via making which you cannot have done by Asking. Therefore, if there is any art you need to master to live life happily, it is the art of asking. To learn this art and achieve mastery in it you need to do three things. Practicing these three things help in getting better at asking and living life happily.

Humility- Without any doubt, you cannot possibly think of asking some anything if you have the ego of the size of a dinosaur. Therefore, the first thing that you need to do in order to learn and effectively utilize the art of asking is to be humble. The more you practice humility, the lesser it hurts to ask and the easier it becomes to understand and reckon the importance of asking and being asked from in return.

Be Vulnerable- The other reason why people refrain from asking something from someone is that they don’t want to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable with regards to asking is believed to lead to rejection or shame, thus people don’t show their vulnerability and suffer instead of asking. On the other hand, if you accept your vulnerability then you will gather the courage to ask, and when you ask your vulnerability pays off in the form of a solution to your problem.

Why You Need an Attitude Of Gratitude

Gratitude- Above all, asking does not come with only asking, rather complete the transaction between you as the person asking and the other as a giver you need to offer gratitude in return. Besides the fact that it makes the other person happy and elated for his help being appreciated, it also shows the kind of value you associate with asking. Therefore, to keep the process of asking effective and productive, reciprocate help with gratitude.

Now it’s Your Turn!

Are you in favor of Asking or a believer in Making? What worked for you? What is your opinion about asking people and how to ask people? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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53 responses to “The Art of Asking: The Answer Will Always Be No If You Don’t Ask”

  1. Toni Lauterio says:

    Ask and you shall receive most of the time. the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  2. Krystle says:

    I believe in both. I believe that when you ask you shall receive dependent on the circumstance. Also that if you want it to happen you have to do something in order for it to happen. Both in a positive sense. Great post Nate!

  3. Colette says:

    This provoked some interesting thought.
    we should do more asking, than being pushy and selling to people, however that art of asking without looking like you’re begging is something that needs to be developed. Thank you for sharing Nate, valuable advice

  4. Hi Nate,
    I am glad to have started following your blog regularly.
    Your powerful words never fail to inspire me.
    Great article, again! (Y)

  5. D.J. Paris says:

    Agreed – there are definitely people that you can make do your bidding, but the easier approach is asking. And if you’re a good persuader, they’ll think it was their own idea, and then you won’t even have to ask. 🙂

  6. Esha says:

    I’m a firm believer in making…in a positive way though, I do not ask until it is absolutely necessary.. I like being challenged and love finding my own answers!!! I have asked queries with utmost humility and have both good and bad response so I stick to my own self.. 🙂

  7. Casi says:

    Asking when possible. However, with a teenager in the house sometimes making is necessary to enforce boundaries.

  8. Love your philosophy! Arrogant, pushy people in sales? Be gone! Poof!!! It is sooooo a thing of the past and people are fleeing from as fast as their legs can go… tee-hee… Treat people as people, NOT numbers. Just as you would love to be treated. 🙂 Love your post!
    NOTE: And, I must add you have the friendliest happy face on your header! How could anyone turn away… 🙂

  9. Diana Foree says:

    Your article lists all the components of good friends and a healthy business. I start out being the “Maker”, try to make it happen. I am also humble enough to know when I’m over my head and seek out advice. A combination of both making and asking is a recipe for success in whatever your do.

  10. Samuel says:

    Humility is the first step in building credibility as well.

    I couldn’t agree more about what you’re saying on the art of asking.

    It needs to be worked on for myself.

    Thanks for the article!

    – Sam

  11. I really believe in servant leadership and making myself part of the team. By showing I am willing to put in work as well, I gain the trust of my team. Then asking is pretty easy.

  12. Such an inspiring post, Nate. I believe in being genuine and actually caring for others first. It’s not about making $$$ only. I don’t like pushy sales people. I stay away! 😉 BTW – I love your header. Great happy, inviting pic.

  13. Kungphoo says:

    I am one for asking questions all the time.. Especially if i do not know something…

  14. Lorii Abela says:

    Oh, i haven’t thought about this. You’re right, come to think about it, it’s actually better if you ask people to do it instead of making them do things. I think it creates more productivity. Cool! Thank you for sharing this! Happy Wednesday!

  15. Sandy K Hardy says:

    Learning to be self-sufficient is a hard thing to unlearn. Great tips on how to help change that mindset.

  16. Tina Ashburn says:

    I have never learned the art of “asking” and I can seldom say “no”. I’m working on it, but it’s difficult to teach this old dog new tricks!

    • Nate Leung says:

      It can be difficult if you let it, but very easy if the ‘old dog’ is ready and open to learning new tricks. 🙂

  17. Awesome post Nate! Thank you for sharing about the art of asking and how very important it is 🙂

  18. Kungphoo says:

    I am an asker! If i want to know something that i do not know, i always ask!

  19. Roslyn says:

    I think the harder lesson when asking is to not be attached to the answer. In other words, be prepared for a no. A true request must give the person the freedom to decline. This is often where we get tripped up.

  20. I like your blog post. I will bring this aspect of asking to mind more often. Thank you.

  21. Ryan Biddulph says:


    I had to eat some humble pie before I asked LOL! I was never cocky; just thought I could handle it all by myself.

    The fool in me dissolved and I asked for help in many of my weak areas in life…..and things flowed to me easily, when I learned how to ask.

    Good points man. Thanks for sharing Nate!

  22. I have always said if you don’t ask then how do you know? You can’t be scared to ask for something otherwise you may never get anything or get anything done!

  23. Sharon ODay says:

    I wonder where and why we learned to take someone’s decision not to say “yes” as a personal rejection. (But obviously most of us did.) And the result is that all too many fail to even ask, as you mention …

  24. Adam Payne says:

    Sounds advice Nate.

    Never be afraid to ask.

    I will now ask my wife if I can go out with the boys on Saturday.

    Seriously though man, always enjoy your blogs.


  25. Brian Meehan says:

    I have to admit that I am not much of an asker. Was always more self reliant. But thanks for the article it’s an eye opener for me. The art of asking is a skill that I will need to work on and develop.


  26. I always ask questions … it’s how we continue to grow and learn isn’t it?

    An early business lesson I was taught was if you don’t know the answer just say so and don’t waste time beating around the bush. x

  27. Dk Patel says:

    You are very right .. asking a questin is also a very big talent and most of people not aware how to do it. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  28. Carele Belanger says:

    It would be so much easier if everybody would just ask. Anyway, each no always brings you closer to a yes 😉

  29. I agree! Humility, vulnerability and gratitude are keys to a good life. Our own attitudes shape the kind of life we live and the way people around us treat us.

  30. Marilyn says:

    I need to get out of my shell and get more into the asking.

  31. David Haines says:

    I’ve always felt uncomfortable asking people for things. I’m definitely going to take your suggestions here to heart Nate. Thanks for all you do! Great article!

  32. I am a firm believer in asking:-) With gratitude! I really liked your title of this post. It’s so true that you’ll always get a ‘no’ if you don’t ask!

  33. Beth Hewitt says:

    Hi Nate,

    Great post, it is amazing what can unfold in our lives when we take step to ask 🙂


  34. Brad says:

    Very good point Nate! I always say that everyone should feel 100% free to ask any question they like, so long as they’re also okay with not receiving the answer they’re hoping for. It’s not about passive aggression, and it’s not about coercion. It’s about making a simple and humble request with no emotional attachment to the outcome.

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