Try saying with a positive tone of voice, “It would be great if you could help with the dishes.” People generally like to help, IF they feel they will be appreciated for helping, NOT if guilt is used to get them to help. If your request doesn’t work, then add, “I really need your help right now. Please help me do the dishes.” Sound friendly, but not meek.
If this is a daily problem, plan ahead and ask, “Who wants to chop vegetables and set the table, and who wants to wash the dishes?”
If none of this works because your family dynamics are too entrenched, you may think about buying paper plates or going out to eat on your own. Just say, “I’m pretty overwhelmed with work and will treat myself to no dishes.”
by Alison Poulsen, PhD