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  • Writer's pictureJenn

Empowering Yourself By Asking For Change

But not expecting it

Infograph about how to ask for change without being emotionally manipulative

I love to travel.


I also love to be with my husband.

But when you mix the two:

New, exciting places, especially LA

Lots of different types of people doing different types of things

LA Traffic


My Idahoan who likes to stay in Idaho

Likes familiar people and familiar places

Prefers dirt roads

Experiences high levels of anxiety on busy roads

Likes to commentate about how disagreeable traffic and my driving in aforementioned traffic...

It equals a special trigger of mine.

And I am left with a few choices.

We know it's our jobs to feel okay inside.

We get it.

But it takes a whole lot of mind management/energy/resources to work ourselves through a trigger sometimes.

Maybe we didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

Have sick kids.

Are having an autoimmune flare.

And still really want to want to be around that person.

Just not while they are doing THAT.

You know the thing.

The thing that makes you cringe and you have to bite your tongue to keep from saying something reckless.

You could do the work and get yourself to a good place.

You could just stay away.


You could ask for change.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for change.

If you are asking for change and recognizing that it's your issue.

And taking full responsibility for how you are feeling in response to the trigger.

And not hanging your hopes for happiness on their agreeing to go by your request...

Then it's all good!

Here is a 4 Step Formula that is for JUST such a thing. All you need to do is fill in the blanks:

1. I feel...

2. When you...

3. Will you...

4. So that...

Here is why this formula works pretty well.

You are genuinely offering your feelings and taking responsibility by starting with the word "I". This is called an "I statement". The other person is more likely to stop listening and mentally start defending themselves when the first thing they hear from an annoyed person is "you".

You are being genuine and sharing authentically here. You are not trying to change them by manipulating them. You are being straight-up with your request.

Here are the important things to remember here:

If they say yes:

Recognize that they are agreeing to help you out by going by your "playbook" this time. This isn't expected of them and you aren't entitled to it. People get to act however they choose to. It's just one of those things.

If they say no:

You get to choose how you feel, what you make that mean, and what you will do next.

You could choose to feel neutral about it and move on or you could choose to feel super angry.

You could make it mean that they don't care about you or respect you or you could make it mean that they are simply being authentic.

You can choose to suck it up and work to manage your mind about it or choose to leave without guilt and love, respect, and take care of yourself.

Just know that if you start to use emotional tactics to get them to change their mind...

hurt feelings




we entered the land of emotional manipulation.

Feeling those things and even expressing them are okay. Blaming them for those feelings or actions is giving your power away.

My choices as I saw them were:

Tighten my jaw and listen to 2 1/2 hours of LA traffic commentary, talking myself down the entire time, risking a moment of snapping if I cross that line

Don't travel with my husband


"I feel really tense when you complain while I'm driving in traffic. Will you please take some Benadryl and sleep while I drive so that you don't have to feel so anxious and I don't have to work to stay calm while driving our family?"

He slept great.

Best 2 1/2 hours of traffic I've ever spent IN MY LIFE.

Is this something you could use some help with?

Is there someone you would love to be able to be around more but find yourself grinding your teeth when you get within hearing distance of?

It is also totally possible to be totally okay around the people who usually trigger you.

It takes some good insight about what your conditions are and how to change your thoughts about what is going on.

Totally doable.

Since Benadryl is not always a good option can I help you out?

Click HERE if you would like to chat about it for free.

We've got this.

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