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Communicating your needs

Posted Sep 14 2008 1:18pm

We all have needs – physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs. It is important to be able to identify what your needs are in each of these areas so that you can effectively communicate your needs to others. You can’t expect others to know what you need – especially when you aren’t even sure what you need. Be careful not fall into the trap of believing that your friends and family know you well enough that they should automatically know what you need. It is always your responsibility to ask for what you need!

We are each responsible for getting our own needs met and the best way to do that is to ask for what you need. I suggest that you start by making a list of your needs at work, at home, and with friends. Make a list of what you need in each of these areas of your life to feel good and be successful. Then evaluate what needs are currently being met and which ones are unmet.

Once you have identified your unmet needs in each area of your life, it is time to communicate. Be clear and ask specifically for what you need. Take responsibility for your feelings rather than blaming others. Remember you are asking for what you need, not demanding it! Leave room for negotiation… especially when there are conflicting needs. For example, you might need more quiet time and your partner may need more interaction. The solution – you agree to spend quality time together each night after you have had your quiet time. The key is to honor and respect each other’s needs.

Remember, it is always your responsibility to ask for what you need.

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