Request versus Demand

Tell if it is a demand from how the requesting speaker reacts to a No.

It is a demand if the speaker than criticises or judges. (ex. of mother)
It is a demand if the speaker than lays a guilt trip. (ex. of husband)
It is a request if the speaker responds empathically.

Underlying objective for our requests – a relationship based on empathy and honesty

It is hard but very fruitful to keep that in our conscious focus in our daily interactions with people.

What to do when the hearer hears a demand, even though we honestly mean a request?

Even when we have that objective and conscious of caring for another person’s need, we can still be faced with a situation where the other side hears a demand. We can then put our wish for mutual respect and care for the needs of all sides on the table and ask them to tell us how we can communicate with them so they trust that.

“How can I let you know what I am wanting from you so it doesn’t sound like I don’t care about what you’d like?”

Right-Wrong thinking transforms our requests automatically into demands.

  • He should be cleaning up after himself.
  • She’s supposed to do what I ask.
  • I deserve to get a raise.
  • I’m justified in having them stay later.
  • I have a right to more time off.