We each have our own unique needs; usually comprised of our individual needs and those we hope can be met in a relationship. Being aware of your partner’s needs allows for you to tend to them and vice versa. As opposed to many individuals, whom wrestle with ideals for independence and what their expectations “can” be in a relationship, expressing your needs does not make you a needy person. In fact, making your needs known through honest and heartfelt communication is the best way for your partner to get to know you and it serves as a map for them to be aware of how to care for you.
How to talk about your needs:
- “I appreciate the things you do to show me love. I feel really good when you do ____”
- “I know that ____ is really important to you and that ____ is really important to me. Can we find a way to meet in the middle so both our needs are met?”
- “I love when you ____. Can you do more of this for me?”
- “When I get triggered and upset can you help me by_____? This will help soothe my anxiety so we can work through things much easier.”
If your needs aren’t being properly met, how should you feel?
- Having needs is not the same as being needy
- I’m not being unreasonable for expressing my needs
- I deserve to be in a relationship that operates on taking care of everyone’s needs
- Just because they did not show respect to my needs, it does not mean there is inherently anything wrong with me and I don’t matter
- It’s understandable to feel hurt, take a moment to process that and communicate it when you feel ready
- It’s okay to do what’s right by me and speak up for me
Reasons why we may find it hard to express our needs:
- We grew up in homes where our needs were dismissed or we were made we felt “too much” or were too “sensitive”
- We grew up in emotionally unavailable homes where there was no room for vulnerability and in fact being vulnerable had dyer consequences
- We have people pleasing tendencies and find it hard to focus on and express our own needs because we were tasked for caring for others or else
- We fear admission, and communication of our needs and think that true love means they need to “read our mind”
- We have not expressed our needs before and lack practice
- Due to a lack of emotional safety in previous relationships, in current relationships, we find it hard to express our needs in fear that we will be humiliated or rejected again
Having needs does not make us: needy, weak, demanding, “too much”, an inconvenience, selfish, dramatic, sensitive, or insecure; it makes us human, self-caring and self-aware. Expressing needs means you are putting your trust and faith in someone else in that they will do their best to respect and care for you. This is healing and truly what makes us grow as human beings.
Phone: (321) 758-5161