How to Help Others Understand What You Want
How do you ask for something you want or need in a way that lets others understand your needs. Many people assume that others know what they want without asking, but they cannot read your mind. They do not know what you want unless you ask.
How can you ask for what you need and want with confidence?
You begin by having an understanding of what you need and knowing what your gift is. With this understanding established, you will be able to ask with confidence.
A client I will call Karen was a giving person. She was always taking care of other people’s needs. She entered the helping professions to help others make positive changes in their lives. Yet in her life, she was not meeting her own needs. At first, she was okay with this because, when she was growing up, she had been told, “You should always put other people’s needs ahead of yours.” Following this early advice that was so firmly implanted, she eventually became tired and resentful.
In her training, she took a class on burnout in the helping professions where she heard the analogy about putting the oxygen mask on yourself first. When the facilitator asked Karen what she would do when the oxygen masks dropped, she replied as most others would: “Of course I would put it on my children first because I would be willing to die for them.”
The facilitator asked if she would be willing to live for them. “I do live for them,” she replied. Karen had not yet learned the principle that in order to help others, you first need to take care of yourself. She was unable to ask for what she needed and wanted because she believe that to do so was selfish.
Writing down your vision and your mission statement will help you define your needs. When you let people know what your needs are, you offer them the opportunity to choose to help you or not. People seldom know what you need unless you ask for it.
How can you acquire the confidence to ask for what you need or want?
- First you need to know what you want. That comes as you develop a vision and a plan your life.
- Next, you need to believe that you deserve what you are asking for. If you are willing to put forward honest effort (or have already done so), then you deserve it pop over to these guys.
- Finally, you need to believe that the person you are asking is willing and capable of providing you with what you need.
We learn to understand what other people need by listening. Meeting your own needs requires balancing the courage to ask for what you need with consideration for other people’s needs. If you constantly ask without being willing to give something in return, you are likely to lose even those people who would otherwise be willing to support you.
What message are you sending?
“I” messages are an effective way to ask for what you want. “I” messages indicate that you take personal responsibility for the changes you want rather than blaming others for your circumstances. “You” messages on the other hand, are blaming and judgmental.
For example, an “I” message might be “I was disappointed when I came to the meeting and no one else was there.” A “you” message might be, “you didn’t show up. What is wrong with you?” This type of message causes the other person to put up defenses. When that happens, he or she is no longer listening to you. Instead, his or her mind is racing for ways to either defend or attack. Real communication has stopped.
Actively listening to to others and being able to speak exactly what we mean from our hearts, forms the basis of meaningful communication.
This is an excerpt from my book “Embracing Change From the Inside Out”
If you’re ready to make life changes from the inside out contact me, I will help you understand how to make those changes.
You can also contact me to speak at your next event, I will adjust my topic to the needs of your audience.