The Art of Asking or What I learned from Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking is SO FULL OF Amanda Palmer.

She fills the pages with herself to the brim, to the point where you really, really want to meet her.

Her writing makes you want to go up to her and ask: ‘how can you be so honest, so genuine and so open?’

We’ve pulled the best nuggets (visual quotes from books) for you in the summary of book below. Enjoy


BOUNDARYLESS / THE ART OF ASKING

'Asking is a building block for any relationship.' @amandapalmer Click To Tweet

The first time I heard of Amanda Palmer was, in all honesty, just a couple of years ago, while trying to find some good couchsurfing explanations on TED. Leave it to the experts to explain the concept to someone who just doesn’t get it. Well, that didn’t work, but at least I acquainted myself with her.

The Art of Asking is an exquisite extension of that TED talks. Amanda’s book is filled with candid and heartbreakingly honest stories from the different stages in her life: from mixtapes and self deprecating teenager fall outs, to the age of CDs and the encounter with the band who would challenge and change her life as an artist.

What you find while reading through is that The Art of Asking (yes, it is an art, but even if it wasn’t, Amanda could still turn it into one) is so intertwined with the art of Trusting and the art of Giving, that you cannot have one without the others.

You may think :

  • Why would one want to learn how to ask? We all know how to do that!
  • Why even ask? I’m better and above all that.
  • Is this book going to teach me how to manipulate – erm, sorry, convince people into giving me what I want?

This book talks  about none of that. This is a book about human connections, intimacy, trust.

The Art of Asking aims to get people, in the words of Brené Brown : ‘Uncomfortably close. Dangerously close. Beautifully close.’

The title has an extension: ‘How I learned to stop worrying and let People help.’ And that, folks, is what this book is really about. The feelings you get from going through the pages, are a mix and flurry of:

  1. We all struggle with asking. We’re all human and afraid to ask.
  2. Afraid because it makes us vulnerable -Will she say no? Will he laugh? Will they judge me? ..
  3. It takes courage to stand up and ask. courage and trust.
  4. Asking is a building block for any relationship.
  5. Wonderful things start happening once you let go and start trusting.

Openly sharing plenty of details in her life, relationships and ways to make a living, Amanda fights to debunk the myth that vulnerability is weakness, that asking means begging. There is, however, a clear cut difference between asking and Asking.

Asking without giving IS begging. Merely expecting people to give you stuff if you hold out your hand, is begging. Asking, on the other side, is a human connection, a relationship of : I trust you to give, and the other person saying, I trust you because you don’t expect unconditional giving, and because you gave back.

Almost every important human encounter boils down to the act, and the art, of asking

You’d think ‘easier said than done’, you’d say ‘Easy for her to say, she was not afraid to put her hat down and ask, she freaking raised a million dollars on Kickstarter.’

I urge you read the book exactly because of that. Because you may think that asking comes easy for Amanda. It didn’t. She is the first to admit it and she constantly battles her inner ‘Fraud Police’ while trying to let people give. In her words: ‘I’ve had a problem feeling real all my life. I didn’t know until recently how absolutely universal that feeling is.’ 

Her music may not be your cup of tea. But this book.. it’s hilarious, witty, painfully sad, honest and wise, and we love it.


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