Communication of Desires Gone Wrong:
When I was a child, I was convinced that I would not get my desires fulfilled, even if I communicated them. I grew up in poverty so it wasn’t a stretch to make this assumption. Over the years, I’ve learned that many times I went without were unnecessary. Although my mom had little ability to fulfill desires, there was a small amount available and there was no harm in asking. I had to teach myself to make my desires known and communicate what I want.
Early on, I also started being annoyed when others would ask for favors or items from me. I’ve worked hard to be self-sufficient or go without. I saw their communication of desires as laziness, false entitlement or poor planning. At the same time, I felt that I had to help them out or else I was a bad, and selfish person.
Recently I’ve been complimented quite frequently about my handling of these issues and my friends have picked up on the techniques of communicating in an authentic way that communicates desires and needs while not pushing those desires and needs on others. Check out these tips, try out new communication skills, and comment about how they work or don’t work for you.
Communicate Your Desires:
Whether you want to start a relationship with someone special, get help moving, or have an amazing birthday party, it is often essential to communicate your desires. Hiding your desires from people who can help you get what you want from life is counterproductive and cuts off the opportunity for your friends to bless you. Fulfilling desires for others and getting your own desires fulfilled by others is not a sign of weakness so long as you do not feel trapped, guilty, or entitled about them. This exchange and mutual sharing of communication and desire fulfillment actually brings people together. Desires are part of what makes us human and helps us to relate to each other.
The first step in communicating your desires is to take some time to reflect. Are you sure that you actually want what you are about to ask for? Sometimes we think we desire something but it is really just societal programming, or what we feel we should want but don’t actually want. Sometimes it can be good to communicate about things you thought you wanted but don’t, because it can clear the air of awkwardness, but that’s another issue.
The next step is to look at how to communicate that desire. You will need to think about whom you want to ask and how they communicate. Are there ways in which this desire can be misconstrued? If you think there is a good potential for misunderstanding, try to think of all the things you don’t mean by your statement of desire. Also, make sure to communicate limits about what you can accept as fulfillment.
Once you have all this information you can communicate your desire. This is only half of the equation however.
Communicate Your Serenity and Independence:
Now that you are ready to communicate your desires. Consider how to avoid the traps that come from doing so. You may have heard that it doesn’t hurt to ask. The truth is, while it rarely hurts in the short term, sometimes it does in the long term. There are many people in your life who don’t know how to reject your request, so they may feel trapped, or guilty. If this continues they may start to push you away.
One way to keep from having these feelings get in the way of your friendships is to communicate how you feel about these desires. I try to keep a fairly even keel emotionally. By choosing to be happy with my life and to prioritize serenity and independence I do not need to push or pull others around in order to be happy.
Despite this nature, people can still feel trapped or guilty. So I make it easy for them. I remind them that I’m okay. I communicate that they are free to decline. It is essential that you are actually okay with a denial of your desire if you are going to do this. You are not entitled to make demands on other people for your own desires.
As you communicate as authentically as you can communicate your serenity and independence, while also communicating clearly and passionately about your desires, you will notice those around you reacting differently toward you. If you previously communicated your desires, you may find them being more relaxed as they have the freedom to bless you in a way that works with their life, and to decline when they really don’t want to and shouldn’t. If you didn’t communicate your desires before, you will notice that those around you are actually a lot more giving with their time, energy and resources than you thought. These people have wanted to bless you but didn’t know how. When you communicate authentically both your desire and your autonomy you will get strange reactions because people do not communicate like this often. You may start noticing your friends and family mimic you, which will help you feel less pressured by others for desire fulfillment.
Accept Fulfillment When Offered:
A key step is accepting help and fulfillment of desires. This may seem obvious, but to those who have been trained to not want and to not accept gifts from others, it can seem overwhelming emotionally. We are taught communication phrases like “you shouldn’t have”, and “no, thank you”, when we really want to say “Thank you” and “Yes, please.” Allow those around you to bless you by not denying their gift, downplaying it, or dramatizing it. Communicating a simple “Thank you” will usually suffice, perhaps with a card or a treat if it is a large blessing. To deny a blessing is to shut the door in the face of a friendship or potential friendship.
Only Offer Desire Fulfillment When You Want To:
Promote authentic communication by only fulfilling the desires of others when you can do so with a truly giving and blessing heart. If you don’t want to, don’t do it. If the other person has followed this process your job is easy because they have already provided you a way of escape. They have communicated their serenity and independence and reminded you that you can say no. If they have not followed this process, your job is a bit harder but it is still important. By denying desires that you can’t cheerfully fulfill, when you can fulfill them your friend knows that you mean it. It also reveals that when you communicate your desires you really are okay with a denial. Only make excuses if they are relevant and true reasons for your denial.
Successful Synergy of Communication Skills:
Remember to keep in mind both sides of this communication coin every time you have authentic desires. If you want something, don’t be afraid to seek it out. Communicating and fulfilling desires are one of the ways we connect with other people. When you communicate your desires, provide a way of escape. Deal with your feelings of entitlement and dependence; cultivate feelings of serenity and independence, and work to communicate those feelings. Allow others to fulfill your desires when they can do so with a cheerful heart and fulfill desires in others in the same fashion.