When asking a group of women business owners how it was for them to express their “needs,” in their relationships, I got a variety of answers.
Sometimes we don’t even know what our needs are or we deny having them.
Other times we can sort of acknowledge them, but feel badly for even having them, and minimize them.
This post will show you how to express your needs in a relationship, because if you don’t know how to do this, they likely will not be met.
One women noted:
I think there’s some stigma that if a woman says she needs something – anything, really – she’s being needy or clingy.
You ever feel that way?
This idea that you’re too needy or clingy by asking for something is archaic.
You have wired in biological needs for a safe and secure emotional connection, no matter who you are.
Add to those wired in biological needs a history of maybe not having all of your needs met (because let’s face it, not everyone had a perfect childhood), and those needs may be even stronger.
We need stuff from our partners.
We need to feel valuable, important, understood, seen, heard and appreciated.
Let’s just admit it, already!
This does not make us “weak” or “codependent,” it makes us human.
Before we can get our needs met, we need to acknowledge that they exist, and that we’ve got this need for connection.
The strongest of us know we need others, whether that means support in our businesses or support from our partners, and we are better off as a result.
Here’s what some others have said about the struggle to express their needs:
I always was shy about talking about my own needs…mainly because I either was not aware of them or I invalidated them or felt guilty for having them. I did not know myself as an empowered woman and didn’t even know that I didn’t know myself as a woman until I started discovering myself.
Are you shy about talking about your own needs?
Do you know what they are? (Go discover yourself if you don’t know. Get some help if you have to!)
I honestly never knew I had the right to ask for what I needed
Do you feel like you have the right to ask for what you need? (You do.)
I consider the other person’s needs before my own — and often give their needs more weight than mine.
Do you fall into this trap? (Do you want to be a mother to your partner or a lover?)
I personally tend to keep everything inside
So many women do. This just sets up a dynamic in which you are miles away from your partner, which isn’t good for either of you.
Someone else mentioned:
Sometimes when I admit something isn’t being met, even if it’s not his fault in any way, he takes it pretty personally.
So she hesitates to let her partner know what she really needs.
Tip toeing around each other does no one any favors.
Are you guilty of engaging in this polite yet toxic behavior in your relationship?
Here’s what you need to do instead:
1.) Recognize you have needs as a human.
In addition to the obvious needs (food, water, oxygen), you have emotional needs that you can only receive from others.
2.) Understand that you’re much more likely to get those needs met when you are clear about what they are.
3.) Get clear on what your needs are.
Journaling, meditation, walking in nature – do what you need to do to get clear on what they are. If you need help, hire a coach or therapist to help you figure that out (a couple sessions may do the trick).
I’ll give you a hint: If you are like most humans, you likely need to feel important, appreciated, seen, heard and understood from your partner.
It’s important to understand that you really matter to him.
Get clear on how this shows up for you in your relationship.
4.) Talk about yourself, your needs and your emotions.
Do this openly, vulnerably, and not from a place of being critical, because your partner can be a pro at being defensive, but from a place of truly expressing yourself and your more raw & delicate emotions.
Easier said than done, but when you can pull this off in a way that your partner can hear, you’re much more likely to get those needs met.
This stuff can be easier said than done. Contact me for additional help so that you can get those needs met, strengthen your relationship and show up in business that much bolder and better.
Cheers to thriving in business & love,