If you are used to believe that other people’s needs come first, it will be hard to recognize your own needs. You may see in yourself, as you go through your coaching experience or any kind of mental health help, that you don’t know not only how to ask for what you need, but you also don’t know how to recognize your own needs and feelings. Here for you a short description of how it can feel like, when suddenly a need kicks in:
Miss M was hanging the wet clothes and bathing suits after the whole morning at the beach, where she had spent some nice moments with a group of friends and her husband. She feels that, overall, she is quite lucky to have such nice group and to be able to spend excellent memories with her husband on the beach. However, while she is thinking that, a strange feeling is grasping her throat. Some kind of dissatisfaction and anger, for which she feels immediate guilt. After all, she has been blessed with a wonderful summer. Ok, stop, stop the guilt. What is it? She allows herself to think deeper and to let a voice inside her heart speak: she hates the beach. She especially hates it in the morning. It’s too hot, the sand is sticky, and she can barely relax and read, because many families go to the beach in the morning. She’d rather go in the afternoon, later, when nobody is there, and have a nice swim in the warmer water, read a book and have a cocktail alone with her husband. After she has recognized that need, she feels a bit ashamed of it, especially for not having told anybody about it and would like to talk to her husband about it. However, she decides not to. For so long she has pretended that she liked going and she is supposed to be the easy-going lady, the adaptable one… what if her husband and friends cannot recognize her anymore? What if she is perceived as grumpy?
She keeps on hanging her clothes, thinking summer is still long, maybe she could escape by herself on that beach another day.
This story is important, because it is a typical example on how to recognize a repressed need: DISCOMFORT. Discomfort is key. Instead of feeling a discomfort towards something and not accepting it, thinking it’s our own fault, and that we should be grateful instead for what we have, please stop for one second. And think what is that you TRULY want and need. There will be always a way to insert it in your current life and habits and let people know about it. Is it new? Is it scary? Of course. But we must acknowledge our needs before we even start being assertive. Mindset and needs recognition is the first step. Once we know what we want, it will be easier to change our communication style into a more assertive one, and start a more satisfying and