Creating Boundaries Creates Happiness: Part 7
Have you been working on taking responsibility for your happiness? Awesome job! Let's chat about Part 7, "I have the right to express my needs honestly".
So let's say through all this self work you've been putting in, you realize you have a need that is vital to your journey. This could look like a desire to volunteer or give back in some way, a physical release like sports or exercise, an endorphin rush like skydiving or rock climbing, seeking beauty in nature through hiking or camping, or just carving out more time for fun like dancing or more social activities. I'm so proud of you for discovering your need! This is a huge step!
The problem can be communicating this need to your friends or family. They may respond with some teasing or maybe even get upset. Taking time to fulfill your own needs can take time or money away from your partner, friends, or children and typically you'll find some initial resistance. It's natural for humans to think "but how will this affect ME?" and react based on that instinctual thought. If they respond negatively at first, don't get discouraged. Hopefully communicating your needs and the stressing the importance of this activity for your own growth, your person will come around to being supportive.
In turn, be prepared to this discussion about needs to turn to what the other person needs as well. Be open to what they are telling you. If you want others to be supportive of your goals, you need to extend the same open mindedness. I have found when I open the door to communication, I find out a lot more from the other person than what I even expected.
Maybe you're a poor communicator or your nervous about explaining your needs to a friend or partner. I get it! I view myself as a horrible communicator too. I trip over my thoughts and I struggle to express myself in the moment during important conversations. I typically walk away thinking about what I should have said and always have that feeling of wishing I could go back and get a do-over. Unfortunately we don't have time machines (yet!), but we can always re-approach a conversation another time if all else fails.
I often ask my worrywart daughter, "what's the worst thing that could possibly happen? What's the worst thing your friend/teacher/coach would say to you?" It helps her see that even the worst case scenarios are manageable and probably won't even happen. So ask you the same question: What is the worst thing that will happen when you express your needs? Rejection? Embarrassment? Unsupportiveness (is that a word?) Those are all emotions you can handle. And at the end of the day, you are responsible for your happiness (see previous post), not them. You have the right to communicate your needs- but ultimately it's your own to fulfill those needs.