People make asks of each other. Could you tell me about free will? Come watch a the South Park movie with me. Please sell me an iPhone. Will you wash the dishes if I cook dinner? Want to visit Thursday at 3pm and help me with this math problem? Let's go to the Lindsey Stirling show together.

Many asks are implied. Like if you ask a question about self-sacrifice, that's a way of requesting an answer.

Conventional social rules make asks a big deal, so you have to be careful not to make too many asks. Asks pressure people. They feel it's hard or impolite to say no. They don't want a conflict.

That's a bad system. If asks were cheap, then people could express lots of ideas, suggestions and preferences. And the other person would be totally free to agree to only the asks that are mutually beneficial.

The more asks I can communicate without you being pressured, the more options you have for which to agree to. Choosing the best ones from a longer list works better.

When asks are a big deal, people have to put a lot of work into guessing which asks will be mutually beneficial before they ask. They are supposed to be mind readers. Instead of asking and finding out, the majority of the time they guess "no" and don't ask it.

People should learn to be more assertive. If you don't want to do something, decline. If the other person is upset that you would decline something you don't think is best for you, he wasn't a good person to interact with anyway.

If you can't get along with someone in a mutually beneficial way, then don't do things together. If trying to talk about what would benefit you pressures him, he's too dumb to do basic stuff like figure out how to interact beneficially.

People pressure themselves to agree to every ask they receive, to please every person but themselves. Because of this, it's harder to communicate and figure out which joint interactions to do.


People commonly try to agree with asks in a passive way. They agree to something. But instead of fully understanding why it's best and then putting their own creativity and initiative into making it happen, they just try to go along with what they agreed to. They just try to avoid actions that violate it, rather than actually thinking about it and making it good for themselves.

Overall, the problem is passivity. Instead of asserting their preferences, people get influenced and pushed around by asks. They are too fragile and unwilling to stand up for themselves. They think by being passive they can avoid conflicts and fights.

If you exist less, and do and think less in life, then there's less possibility of coming into conflict with anything. The less of you exists, the less can conflict with anything else.

You should aim instead to be a strong person who doesn't get pressured by suggestions, offers, voluntary requests, and so on. Do things you actually want to do. And then do them well, using your own mind to further the project, instead of just passively following along with someone else's project. Either make a project your own or decline it.

By Elliot Temple, Dec 2015 |

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