Tell people what you need.

I think I need some space.

Ask and You Shall (Maybe) Receive

Have you heard about the book, The Five Love Languages? This book became well known after it outlined the five ways individuals tend to express and experience love. These ways include: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.

We all need things in relationships, whether they are romantic or otherwise. We hint at them, we tell our friends to tell our partners about them, we suggest them, but we don’t always ask for them. Asking for what we need from people can rid relationships of much of their complications. Find out how to ask for what you need and potentially get it.

Giving up passive aggression

Passive aggression is a defense mechanism for bad communicators. People who are too afraid to say what they want simply imply what they want and often get bitter when their message isn’t received. It’s important to drop this bad habit before it becomes full-on toxic. Passive aggression includes a few key behaviours:

  • Hostile attitude
  • Resentful of people not meeting their needs
  • Bottles up feelings
  • Disguises criticism as compliments
  • Uses the silent treatment
  • Avoid confrontation
  • Have a hard time communicating feelings

Better communication

Getting what you need means asking for it. Communication is the best way to reduce strain in relationships and let the people you love know how you’re feeling.

We may think the thoughts, feelings, and opinions we hold appear obvious (especially with the right signals), but the best way to confirm this is by being straight up. No one likes guessing games and a lot of other games in relationships can be avoided with better communication.

Being Honest

Honesty is really the best policy. The truth eventually comes to the surface and often the most painless way to get it there is by saying it. If we have a conflict in the mix with a friend, partner, or family member we may try to cover it up instinctively by pretending nothing is wrong.

The best way to respect the ones we love is by being genuine and honest with them. The truth may not always be easy but it is almost always the right thing to say. Even white lies become habitual. Start being more honest in all relationships and encounters and watch it carry over.

Letting go of fear

Why are we afraid to tell people what we need? Fear is one of the largest road blocks in the way of honesty, and ultimately in the way of successful relationships. People who lie are often fearful of being rejected, being judged, not getting what they want, or losing what they have.

Telling someone exactly what you need from them takes courage and reaps huge benefits. You may actually get what you asked for, without all the trouble.

Today’s Practice:

If you encounter a conflict with someone in your life, think about what you need from that person and ask for it. You may need honesty from them, space, better boundaries, more affection, more time, less drama. No matter what it is, tell them you need it and why.