Ask for what you want, notice what you get. So many of our problems can be solved by such a seemingly simple action.
No one else can truly understand what is in our minds. The best they can do are successive approximations based on our past behavior. Many well-intended actions by others are off the mark, only because they were unclear about where the successful target lies! The better someone knows us, the more likely that his or her guesses about what we want will be correct. But why not help them – and ourselves out – by asking for what we want?
From my own experience and that of my clients, here are a few common reasons why we don’t speak up.
- We’ve unclear about what we want. Say so! If you are unclear, chances of
your needs being met are infinitesimally small. Work through it together.
- Assumed they knew. If you aren’t getting what you want, change
an assumption into genuine information by speaking up.
- We want them to know us well enough to
guess correctly. I think
about this as the birthday present gotcha. If he/she truly loves me, they will
buy me the perfect gift. Give it up, adults! We are not ESP enabled beings,
even with people that we care about.
- Fearful that we still won’t get it / Fear of rejection. It could be that you still won’t get what you want, but at least you’ll know it wasn’t for lack of trying on your part. Push through that mind-created fear, and your chances of getting your needs met will rise. If not, it won’t be because they are unknown.
Lastly, we sometimes speak up but aren’t heard. Communicate in a way that suits the other person’s needs if you want to be understood. Give to get, as it were.
Try this and notice what happens. It will decrease the drama in your life and increase your satisfaction.
© Karen D. Walker 2013