Asking me for what you want and need is actually HELPING me.

Asking me for what you want and need is actually HELPING me.

I recently wrote that not asking for what you want and need is a trauma response in many people.

And there were several people who said (I’m paraphrasing):

I want people to know what I want and help without me asking them.
If I ask, they may not feel like they can say no.
I want people to offer because they want to not because I asked.

ALL of these are valid points of view.

Let me share another perspective with you. Mine.

Asking me for what you want and need is actually HELPING me—it’s what I want and need from you in a relationship.

I want people to know what I want and help without me asking them.

The people I’ve encountered who tend to say things like this generally have high empathy. Possibly higher than many.

They are saying that they want people to KNOW how they feel and what they want without being told, just as they often do.

Which is 100% fair and valid.

It’s also a great way to create misunderstandings in relationships, especially with people who are not as high on the empathic scale as they are. And even with those who are deeply empathic, it’s a risk to assume they will know all that you want them to know about your wants and needs.

After all, I’m betting that no matter how empathic you are, you’ve misunderstood people before yourself.

So, you could be harming yourself.

Or not. It’s entirely possible you’ll find someone who is on exactly the same wavelength as you are and will be able to make those connections.

I hope so.

If I ask, they may not feel like they can say no.

This is valid. Usually because it comes from a place of understanding.

The people who say this are often people who have a hard time saying no themselves. They prefer to be proactive rather than reactive, and often reaction feels like it’s coming too late and a has a side helping of guilt.

Thing is, if you’re asking someone like me, you’re actually HELPING me, since I do not have empathy—especially with people I haven’t known for years.

And by making your wants and needs known, I am given a chance to return my help and attention.

I want people to offer because they want to not because I asked.

Like the first response, this is compatible with a small portion of people—those with high empathy. Others will have a varying range of abilities to even sense that you might want something at all.

So, either you wait until you find only people who are as empathic as you are, who you are compatible with, AND who care about you (again, this is a 100% valid choice), or…

ASK THEM

Do you care about the people in your life? Do you believe they care about you?

Ask them how they prefer to communicate about wants and needs.

  • Do they prefer to intuit them or to hear about them from you?
  • Do they want to know specifics about what you want or need in your relationship with them?
  • Are they concerned that they will feel pressured to say “yes?”
  • If so, how could you both work together to lessen that feeling, or to strengthen boundaries?
  • Is there a better way of asking than face-to-face talking? Like text, email, phone, a written note, etc.?

And, talk about yourself as well, all of the above and:

  • When you may have missed a want or need, would you want to have that communicated?
  • Is there a chance of you feeling like you cannot say “No,” and how might that be avoided?
  • Are there signals that you might want to use to avoid some words, or to start a conversation?

And build the relationship you want and need for you both—that is unique to you and your TWO communication styles.

And don’t forget that things can change (especially with life changes), so a revisit conversation is never a bad thing, even when you’re just confirming that nothing has changed.

What are your thoughts?

Have you had this conversation or one like it before? It’s a sort of communicating about communication for the good of your relationship.

Do you see the value in a conversation like this, or no?

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