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Do You Know What You Need?

In any relationship, clearly communicating our expectations, needs and wants, makes it much more likely that those will be met. This means that we need to be clear about what we expect, want and need.What stops people from asking for what they need in their relationships? It could be pride, fear, or a lack of awareness.

If what keeps you from letting our partner know what you want and need is that you do not know yourself what it is that you want or need, it is time to get to know your self. Awareness begins with paying attention to your feelings, paying attention to what you enjoy, what tastes good, smells good and feels good to you. You can begin with food and entertainment preferences and move on to what is it that helps you feel loved, accepted and respected in your relationship.

If it is fear that keeps you from speaking up, you might do well to consider that although asking does mean there is a possibility of hearing, “no;” not asking almost guarantees that you will not get what you need or at least not consistently. If fear is getting in your way then it is time to take a deep breath, face your fear and speak up.

Sometimes it is pride that keeps you from sharing your wants and needs with your partner. You think, “I shouldn’t have to tell him/her, s/he should already know,” or you may choose to withdraw and stop communicating when you feel hurt or upset. Stubbornness can prevent you from getting your needs met. What you choose to do may be moving you farther and farther from what it is that you need, but you may refuse to see it. Consider for example a husband who feels his wife is too busy with school, work or the children to spend enough time with him. He feels hurt and withdraws. Later when his wife says lets go do something, he chooses to reject her offer because he felt rejected and hurt. What he needs is quality time with his wife, but his actions are moving him farther from getting those needs met.

It is important to stop and think about if our actions are getting us closer to what we need and want or farther away. Gratitude and open-mindedness are the antidotes for pride. Stay open to possibilities and look for solutions rather than problems.