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Why Your Needs Aren’t a Priority to Your Friends and Family.

Is the title Harsh?  Yes.

True?  Unfortunately Yes.

Truth #1: Your needs DO matter.  In fact, in my opinion your needs are one of the most important things in your life. When you know what you value and know what you need you can richly, engage in your life.  You no longer become chained to your to-do list or stuck in worry or doubt.  Because you KNOW what is most important to you.  Quick aside:  If you want to learn more about naming your values and living from them check out the Live Happier 101 Mini Course.

Truth #2: Basic human nature, is to only think about ourselves.  So other people, in general, are too busy thinking about their needs to worry about yours.   In other words, if you aren’t looking out for your needs, probably no one else is. Your needs ARE NOT a priority for other people.

Truth #3:  When you swallow, ignore, belittle, your needs it makes it even harder for people to remember, think about or acknowledge them. Over time the more you don’t speak up the less people will think about what you might need.

Truth #4:  Women in general, tend to be so good at looking out for other people’s needs that we forget our own.

Truth #5:  The ONLY way your needs will be heard/met/satisfied if:
A. You know what they are
B. You speak them clearly.  Clearly being the key term there.

Here are some tips for Clearly Speaking Your Needs:

YOUR NEED:  You want your husband to help with the kids in the morning.

Timing:  Right in the middle of morning rush with the kids is not the time to mention the need.  Basically, you are already stressed and your husband will feel it came out of left field. (Remember he most likely hasn’t been thinking about your needs.)  Rather, pick a time when you are both calm and relaxed to share that need.

Specifics:  Ask yourself what do I REALLY REALLY NEED? Get as specific as possible.  What do I want my husband to do? Make breakfast?  Pack lunches?  Get the kids dressed?  The more specific you can get on what you need the better you will feel and the more direction he will have to ‘hit’ the need. Check out this post for more tips on getting specific.

Tone:  Speaking a need isn’t a demand. It is a desire, a request a potential negotiation.  So be aware of how you are sharing the need.  Just because you NEED it doesn’t mean it will happen.  But the more you can share what you need, the closer you will get to achieving it.  Pay attention to how you ask and how open you are to negotiating the need.

Patience:  Remember your husband see’s the world completely differently than you.  He has his own perceptions, needs, ideas, thoughts.  So your need may be hitting him from out of left field no matter how specific you are.  Respect those differences and remember they are ok.  Also, if you haven’t expressed a need in a while you having a spoken need may be a totally new concept for him, so be patient and keep trying!!

These tips work with co-workers, friends, not just your intimate relationships.  We all need to get better about paying attention to our own AND other people’s needs.

Have you found this to be true?  Do you struggle with speaking your needs? Any tips, hints, you have found helpful?

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