Are You Asking for What You Want?

So you've gotten clear on what you're feeling and needing, and you've communicated that to the best of your ability, but the other person just doesn't seem to get it.

They aren't changing their behavior.

They aren't helping you feel better.

They aren't providing what you need.

There are a lot of possibilities here, but like any good trouble-shooting, let's start with the easiest possible fix to see if that resolves it before getting into the more complicated stuff.

Are you asking for what you want?

Seems simple. You may be thinking, "Duh, of course I am." But let's unpack this a bit to see for sure.

Don't Confuse Needs for Strategies

It's easy to unknowingly ask someone for something by simply stating your need.

For example, "I need you to support me." This is not asking for what you want. It's naming a need and telling them to figure out how to met that for you.

You're expecting them to read your mind.

There are endless strategies we can employ to meet our needs, and if we don't offer someone a specific suggestion that is meaningful to us, it's likely they won't guess the right one. No wonder we feel disappointed!

Instead, consider what it is that you are hoping they do. What strategy, or action, would help you meet your needs?

Focus on What you Do Want

Naming the behavior or action that is bringing you distress is a helpful part of making an observation (post coming soon.)

But when making a request, focusing on what you do want rather than what you don't want helps the other person make the change.

Instead of saying, "Stop interrupting me," you could ask, "Will you wait until I'm done talking before sharing your thoughts?"

When we stop one behavior, something else must take its place.