How to ask for what you want in relationships


How to ask for what you want in relationships

Many shy people wish that their intimate relationships and friendships weren’t so “one – sided,” with you ding all the hard work in terms of compromise, compassion, and understanding if often feel as if you don’t deserve or have the right to be in a bad mood, say no, or take time for yourself, then you probably are not feeling safe enough to express your own needs. This type of dynamic with others can cause resentment and feelings of being taken advantage of and used.

Thee shy – strong know that they no longer have to feel what one wants from friends and partners eventually leads to an unbalanced relationship with one side doing all the giving.


You may have even come to the point where you feel that being a constant giver of attention and devoted understanding is your role and is what is expected of you. Of course you want to be a loving, giving and compassionate person, but if this is at the expense of your own happiness then you must challenge yourself to make some changes in the way you relate to others.

If the one –sided relationship is with a spouse or intimate partner, he or she may even have come to expect you to not express your feelings. Here are some tips on how to get what you want and need from this type of relationship.

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Make a list of feelings you would like to express to your loved one. Make another list of needs you feel are not being met which you believe will enhance your intimacy and shared time together.

Choose a time to speak when both of you are relaxed and have ample opportunity to spend time together without interruption or distraction.

Preface what you are about to say with something positive about your partner and you relationship.

Reassure them beforehand that what you are about to say is not a criticism of them, just something you would like to express regarding your feelings.

Use “I” statement for example. “I have noticed that we haven’t spent much time together lately.” Try not to use “You” to start a discussion. “You are always working and you never have time for me.” “You” statements obviously put the other person on the defensive and they will feel they have done something wrong and are being attacked or criticized.

State your feelings with compassion. Risk the vulnerability of speaking from your heart and exposing your feelings, even if they come from a place of insecurity. What you may need is reassurance here, and remember your partner is not a mind reader.

Finally, suggest a joint discussion for a solution: “What can we do about this situation so we can love each other more freely?”

Be prepared to hear something unique next. Your partner will probably ask you “What do you want to do?” or “What do you think would be a solution to this problem?” you partner is now asking about what you want and what you need from the relationship. So give the “Problem” some thought before the discussion so you are clear on what you do want and need. Take a risk and try this step-by-step process to ask for what will enhance your relationships with others. This type of dialogue is usually met with great success as ling as your partner is open and you approach the talk with a gentle, caring attitude and sincere desire for change.

Contributed by Catherine Gillet

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