Factors To Consider

Lesson Completed

There are several factors to consider when determining level of intensity.

Capability. Is the person you’re asking able to grant it to you? For example, if you were in need of medication how intensely would you ask your music therapist vs the nurse?

Your priorities. This goes hand-in-hand with the goals of self-respect, achieving objectives, and maintaining relationships. If your self respect is on the line, raise the intensity level of your no. If your relationship with the person you’re asking is important to you, consider lowering your intensity level.

Rights. What is morally or legally required? If what you’re asking for is your right, would you raise or lower your intensity of asking? You can raise your level.

Authority. Is one person in the interaction have authority over you? If you are the authority you can use a higher intensity level than someone who isn’t the authority in the situation.

Relationship. What are the appropriate dynamics between you and the other person? Is what you’re asking for or saying no to appropriate for the relationship with this person?

Long-term vs. short-term goals. How does this “ask” effect future objectives.

Reciprocity. Is the relationship two sided? If you’ve asked for favors several times in a row and the other person has not asked for anything from you, how intensely can you ask this time, once again youre turn to ask for something? Not real intense. However now the other person finally asks you for something, how intensely can they ask you? Higher intensity.

Homework. Do you know all of the facts? If yes, you can ask with higher intensity. I like to think of a child asking their mom if they can go out with their friends. If they already can tell mom who they’re going with, how they’re getting there, when they’ll be back, what time they’ll call and check in, etc…do you think they can ask more or less intensely? More.

Timeliness. Is it an appropriate time for this ask? If the person is in the middle of a conversation with someone else or is taking care of a crisis don’t ask. If they are free to give you their attention, ask with more intensity.


Just like the stereo volume is adjusted for each situation, the level of intensity in an ask or say no is adjusted for each situation. Practice a few situations from your life to get used to determining level of intensity.