A friend and I are moving into a new place at the end of the month, and in looking at it we agreed that it would be improved drastically with a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
At first we were just going to let it go and hope the landlord noticed and included it in with the other odd cleaning things to be done before move in day, but then we decided to speak up.
We told her that it was important to us to have the walls done. She was hesitant at first, saying she’d have to look and see if they really needed it, but we were insistent and to our pleasure she quickly said she’d have someone in to do it. It didn’t stop there though. In the interest of moving in as soon as possible, I asked when it would be done by. For scheduling reasons it would be cutting it close to have it done before the first of the month. I have more time than patience lately, so I offered to do it myself if she bought the materials and she agreed and wrote it into our rental agreement.
It might be an odd example, but it goes to show that if you pick your battles carefully and speak up for what you want, you are a lot more likely to get it than if you don’t ask. In a few minutes I went from having dingy walls to a plan to fix that for free within a week. Here’s some tips:
- Pick something specific. Telling your landlord that you need some paint, telling your boss you need a certain day off, or telling your boyfriend you need more communication is a lot better than vaguely saying that “something” needs to change.
- Be willing to compromise. We’re all human. You can’t expect the maintenance guy to have nothing better to do than paint your living room, your boss can’t read your mind on what day you need off, and your boyfriend may need some help understanding what you want. If things aren’t getting done, be willing to work on them too.
- Be firm. Not all problems are easily fixed but there’s always a way to make progress, and seeing that there’s effort being made on the part of the person you’re talking to is the biggest and most necessary part of the battle.
So go out there and get after what you want!