Today for my #40DaysofGiving I focused on giving the opportunity for people to ask for what they need. This is a skill that I personally have struggled with over the years. Especially being a giver. Give, give, give. Never asking for what I needed. Asking seemed weak or needy. Learning this skill I quickly realized it’s powerful, not weak. When you ask for what you need, you not only get your needs met, but you also give someone else the opportunity to succeed at supporting you.
I’ll admit there was the “do-er” in me that wanted to just jump up and see how I could help, but that would only serve in the short term. I know that they are more than capable of finding the solution and executing it. I also know that they know that if they need help and ask me for it, that I will help and support them in however I can that supports them and me along the way.
This skill go far deeper than any task too. Asking for what you need in your relationships is a game changer. If you know about “love languages”, you’ll get a kick out of this one. I have a friend who’s love language is gifts. Her husband keeps ‘screwing up’ in this area and when I asked her if she asked for what she needed around this she replied, “no, he should know. If I have to ask then it has no meaning.” Well I get what she was saying (btw – I’ve heard this from more than one person, so I’ve seen it often), but come on! EVEN SANTA GETS A LIST SENT TO HIM!
Here are some ways you can deepen the skill of asking for what you need:
~ Make a list of things you want for your birthday and then release all expectations. Oh, and you have to GIVE THEM the list.
~ When you notice that you keep getting triggered by the same thing, look at what a solution might be and then talk to the person and see if you can find a solution. Both my ex-husband (and his wife) and I (and my husband) are triggered by our daughter who we co-parent leaving her socks all over the house. After picking up her socks a trillion times (okay, an exaggeration, but it felt that way), we had a bigger conversation about it. Turns out she finds that she learns better when she has bare feet. This is truly odd to me, but who I am to question how she learns!?!!?!? So what we did this time was tell her how frustrated we feel picking up her lonely socks that seem to get taken off and left for the sock fairy to deal with. We simply asked that when she takes them off, that she picks up after herself. Asked for what we needed and so far, it has improved dramatically.
~ When you are at your wits end and want help with something, simply ask. “Can you please help me with my computer? I have tried a bunch of stuff, but I still can’t connect it to the wifi.”
~ When your emotional needs aren’t getting met. Often we see this show up as sadness, resentment, hurt feelings and jealousy. Upon reflection, it might just be that you want more quality time. If this is the case, say to someone, “I miss you. I know that we are both busy, but could we find some a date to spend some time together. Could go for dinner or there’s this new book store I’d really like to check out.” When you’re out enjoying this time, tell them how it makes you feel to be able to have that time together. They probably feel the very same way and are thankful that you took the initiative to make this happen for both of you.
Thank you #Day37 for this reflection, it has gotten me thinking of where else I might have fallen off the “asking for what I need” train.