Communicating Your Needs
“That person should have done that for me. They knew I wasn’t (Fill in the blank with your problem.).”
Ever said that?
You weren’t feeling well and your partner didn’t automatically empty the dishwasher for you.
You think it’s obvious. You expect them to know and do automatically and they don’t.
Whose problem is it? Who is at fault? What’s the issue here? Is your partner just being insensitive?
Let’s talk about it.
The expectation that people can interpret the needs of others offers us a lot of pain. I lived with that expectation for a long time, too, and it created a lot of pain in my life.
What I had to realize was that it wasn’t up to the other person to interpret my needs. It was up to me to communicate my needs. Guess what? The same is true for you.
This is hard isn’t it?
Every time you get sick you just want your partner to get up and empty the dishwasher, do the household chores, and take over those things without you having to ask. But they don’t and it’s annoying.
The question for you is simple. Why is it annoying? Why do you feel like you shouldn’t have to communicate every time?
Why are you bothered by the idea of needing to communicate your needs? Why are you bothered that you need to communicate the same need repetitively?
This comes down to expectations. We expect people to pay more attention than that. We expect people to learn the first time we request something. We expect people to figure it out. When they don’t we get grumpy. We don’t feel supported. We don’t feel loved. We don’t feel valued.
It’s the expectation that causes you pain because you interpret the unmet expectation as a lack of support, a lack of care, concern, compassion, and value. You interpret it as a lack of your own worthiness.
Those stories aren’t true. The person just simply doesn’t connect the dots and they aren’t going to. The deal is that you just have to get okay with that. You just have to allow that to be there. You can’t make them connect the dots.
The illusion in our perception is that people should do these things automatically. That illusion offers pain. That’s not to say that you couldn’t find somebody that would do it, but therein lies the choice.
If you want somebody that can intuitively see a need and respond to it without requiring communication, then you have a choice of what to do with your existing relationship. You either accept your current partner as they are or you leave and find what you’re looking for.
Now you have some additional awareness of what you want versus what you currently have. How much of a problem is that for you? Are you willing to leave your relationship in order to create that for yourself?
By the way, this isn’t a need. This is in the “nice to have” category. Why? Because the need to not communicate comes from a place of powerlessness. It comes from a lack of willingness to manage your own experience via communication. There is pain in that idea.
For you to manage yourself within your experience, you have to be willing to communicate, even repetitively, your needs and wants with other people. If you’re not willing to do that yet, then you’re not fully managing your own experience.
But what if they say no?
That’s in their prerogative to do, isn’t it? They are allowed to say no. That is their choice. But again, that offers you a choice because you have to decide what to do with that relationship. If you just take on the pain and become wounded, you won’t get anyway. You’re just going to end up stuck in the pain.
But, if you can become aware of the choice that’s being offered to you, then you can do something about it. You can accept that the other person isn’t able to meet those needs or wants and be okay with that or you can leave that relationship. Either way, you don’t have to stay stuck in the pain.
Any story that says that it shouldn’t be that way just makes you argue with it. It makes you defend the problem. It doesn’t offer you a way out of the pain. What should be happening isn’t what’s happening. That puts your power outside of you. It takes your power away from you. Your power is in your ability to make a new choice. Your power isn’t in your ability to decide how things should be instead.
Your perception is offering you powerlessness and you’re taking that on. That’s got nothing to do with the other person. That’s all you. It’s your job to decide to shift your perspective and do something different. It’s not on the other person to change their behavior so it matches the perspective you want to have. It’s your job to learn to see things as they are without all the pain clouding your perception.
I’ll say it again – it’s not easy to do. Questioning this stuff is challenging, especially when you first start out. But you can challenge it and that’s the key. Challenging it is what offered me freedom from the pain that I was experiencing. It can do the same for you when you’re ready.
Love to all.
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