But how do I ask for what I need?
The most important part is KNOWING what you need.
Often, we are not really clear what our needs are, they get mixed up in the jumble of what we DON’T want. It is important to be clear in yourself that you have needs & wants and they are important.
We are often clear what we DON’T want. We know we DON’T want him to not be listening when we speak, we DON’T want him to be speaking to his ex-girlfriend every other day, after you cooked a great meal, we DON’T want him to leave all the washing up for you to do.
It is so easy to launch into a tirade of: “You never listen to me, it’s so rude, I’m talking, and you are staring at your phone. I might as well go home right now.” This is expressing what you DON’T want, called a ‘negative need’, then adding a threat to the end.
Let’s try expressing what you DO want, a ‘positive need’: “When I am talking to you and you are looking at your phone, I feel like I don’t have your full attention. I feel disappointed and frustrated because I value connection and your input into my life. Would you be willing to put your phone down for 5 minutes and hear me?”
You might like to do some journaling on this. Start with a list of negative needs and next to each one, write a positive need. Take your time to visualise the positive need, what would it be like if the positive need was happening in your life? What would it look and feel like? You might even like to say it out loud a few times, so when it comes time to say it out loud, you have heard yourself say it clearly a few times.
Let me know what positive needs you discover!