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 What do you Need in your Relationships?

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PostSubject: What do you Need in your Relationships?   What do you Need in your Relationships? Icon_minitimeSat Sep 03, 2011 9:27 am

I babysat a friend’s 16-month old daughter on Saturday night. Being inexperienced in this realm, there’s always a smidgen of anxiety regrading this responsibility, but Lauren made it easy for me. She’s not yet able to talk properly, but can definitely demonstrate what she wants!

• She wanted a slide flipped over to the step-side for her to be able to climb up into her play-gym. She kept tugging at it until I understood and turned it around. She then bounded up the steps happily.
• At one point, I found her sitting in her stroller, strapping herself in. She clearly wanted to be taken for a walk.
• At dinner time, she pointed at her high chair, wanting to be lifted into it. She was hungry.

She made the babysitting experience incredibly easy. Just having her needs met, as she expressed them, made her feel content and peaceful. And, oddly enough, they weren’t tough needs to meet.

Why then, as adults do we lose the ability to clearly communicate to others, especially our partners, what we want from them?

Is it because at some level we believe that old adage of ‘if he really loves me and understands me, then he’ll know what I want.” But all that this kind of ‘guessing’ communication achieves is to make your life harder for yourself.

You’ll have certain needs in life; love, security, support, acknowledgement, respect, sincerity, communication, freedom etc. Asking for some of these from your partner is part and parcel of any relationship – just as feeding and playing with Lauren was part of babysitting her.

It’s what I signed up to do – but I was fortunate - she helped me. When changing her for bed and struggling to get her top off, she actually stood up and raised her little arms over her head! Easy.

So – why so often do I see the ‘punishing’ regime playing out in relationships as opposed to a supporting one? It’s often easier to punish someone for NOT doing something you expected without ever having told them what you wanted from them in the first place.

I suggest 3 steps to start changing this in your life:
1. Acknowledge your needs
2. Express your needs
3. Meet your needs

Although this may sound obvious, it’s important first to ascertain what your needs are. Both in a relationship and outside of one. By not acknowledging needs, you run the risk of having them glossed over, never met and one day you suddenly feel that something is wrong. And then you think you never saw it coming, but, it was, in fact always there. But, because you didn’t know what you needed, there was no way of having them met.

Lauren is as yet unable to meet her own needs, but has become an expert at applying steps 1 and 2 to get a carer to do step 3. That’s where she’s at. I was more than happy to make her happy - she just needed to show me how.

The irony is that as an evolving adult, you can for the most part meet all your own needs, but somehow as a species, we’ve regressed. We seem to lose the desire and ability to acknowledge our needs, let alone express them.

What are your needs? List them if necessary and work out how they can be met.

Being in a relationship is designed to make your life more pleasant and actually, easier. This means you have a ‘partner’ in the true sense of the word to help you get through life. Why not let this person help meet some of your needs, once you own them for yourself?

Tell your partner your needs. And how you’d like them met. This includes being loved. We all have different ways of being loved – and showing your partner what this means to you, is the first step to having it met.

Note: Remember that you are first and foremost whole in your own right. Your partner is not there to complete you – but to support and love you. Needs of another should be met with no risk to self-compromise. This encourages the blossoming of both individuals; not one at the detriment of the other.

Isn’t it ironic that it takes a couple of years to learn how to speak – but the rest of your life to learn how to truly communicate?
And as always, it starts with YOU.
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