We all know that if you don’t ask, you don’t get, but it turns out us Brits are still uncomfortable asking for the things we want.
We’ve asked more than 1,500 people what they’re most embarrassed to ask, with “Can you offer me a better deal?”, “Would you like to go out with me?”, and “Can I have your phone number?” among the top 20. That means many of us are ending up out of pocket, and lonely, simply because we don’t ask.
Almost half of Brits (45%) agreed asking for something is “not the British way”, while 49% claimed they don’t ask certain questions to “avoid upsetting someone”. A further 47% said they would simply “be too embarrassed”, and 33% confessed they would only muster up the courage to ask if they’ve had a drink.
The study also found that the average person avoids asking an awkward question three times a day and 48% wish they had the confidence to ask for more.
And plenty of people regret not asking a question. More than a third (36%) said they wish they had asked for a date; 23% said they regretted not asking for a pay-rise; 8% said they should have asked for an upgrade; and 14% regret not asking to loan money from a friend or family. 4% even regret not asking for someone’s hand in marriage.
Despite this, 91% agreed with the phrase “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”.
Jeremy Fennell, managing director at Carphone Warehouse, said: “We’re challenging the nation to embark on a mission to ‘just ask’, because at the end of the day, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?
“At Carphone Warehouse, we’re the only place you can compare thousands of tariffs across the major networks. So if you really want a better deal from your mobile phone contract, come and speak to us, because if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Life’s most cringe-worthy questions
1. Would you like to go out with me? – 11%
2. Can you pay me back please? – 10%
3. Please can you control your child? – 9%
4. Can I have your phone number? – 7%
5. Can I have a pay-rise? – 6%
6. Can I have my money back? – 5%
7. Can I have a promotion? – 5%
8. Could you please move your bag so I can sit down? (on a train / bus) – 4%
9. Will you marry me? – 4%
10. Could you give me a further discount? – 3%
11. Do you have that in a bigger size? (in a clothes shop) – 3%
12. Could I please get a new meal? – 3%
13. Can you offer me a better discount / deal? – 3%
14. Would you mind moving your car back so I can get into this parking space? – 2%
15. Please can you repeat that? (In a business environment) – 2%
16. Can you explain what this word means please? (In a posh restaurant) – 2%
17. How much does this item cost? – 2%
18. Could my parents come on holiday with us this year? 1%
19. Do you have any ketchup? (in a posh restaurant) – 1%
20. Can you walk faster please? – 1%