Get what you want from your man

Dec 10, 2009 at 2:38 p.m. ET

When will we finally accept that the men in our lives will never be mind readers? It's time to put your persuasive voice to good use to get what you want. We can't guarantee he's always gonna get the message, but here are a few ways you can take control of getting what you want.

Couple Smiling on Couch

Ask nicely for what you want... vs. complaining about what you don't get

Want your man to once and for all pick his dirty socks up off the floor? Wish he'd spend more time doing things you want to do? The first step to get what you want is to ask sweetly. If you whine, gripe or complain, your voice will quickly channel that of his nagging mama -- and while he may watch your lips move, his mind will be on anything but how to improve relationships. Remember, your goal is not to fight; it's to ultimately get what you want. Using a calm, kind voice and a dose of your physical prowess -- a gentle touch here and there -- will position you well. Always use "I" statements such as "I would love it if you came to visit my mom with me today" as opposed to "You should come visit my mom with me today since you never do," which invites him in rather than condescends.

Explain why you want it... vs. demanding you get it

Sometimes, to communicate better with men, we just need to help them understand why we want what we want. So without going into a three-act monologue, succinctly explain to your guy how you feel about the situation and what you want to change.

Guys are much more logical than they are emotional, so while sharing your feelings is important, you need to do it in a way that doesn't put him on the defensive. For example, "I always hope you will notice when I've dressed up to look nice for you when we go out, but you don't say anything. I used to love it when we first started dating and you always told me I looked beautiful. I need you to notice that I still make an effort to look nice."

Show him the upside if you get it... vs. giving him ultimatums if you don't

Even though making him feel bad can feel good (admit it!), making your guy feel inadequate or guilty isn't going to get the job done. Instead, show him what's in it for him if he gives you what you want. The better you know your man, the better you know what his currency is -- which is also your bargaining chip.

For instance: "Hey babe, could you hang the Christmas lights today? I know the game is on at 4:00, so how about I throw some beers on ice. After you hang them, I'll make your favorite nachos and you can watch the game, totally uninterrupted." We're not above a good bribe to get a point across!

next up: the top 2 "get what you want" tactics!

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