I Shouldn’t Want That!

Quick quiz:

When I ask for something I ask for

  1. What I think I should want.
  2. What I think I can get that is closest to what I want.
  3. What I want.

I chose what I should want.

Okay, sure, lots of people have done this. It’s not an unusual option when you feel guilty about what you want, or if you haven’t taken the time to explore what you do want. If you’re at this stage, it’s better not to come to the negotiating table until you do know. “I am not entirely sure what I want and need to think” is perfectly acceptable.

If you’re feeling guilty about what you do want, it might be productive to explore why this is so! But choosing to ask for what you think you should want is not being truthful. This is not conducive to a good relationship. Get centered in what you want first. Also, asking for what you should want, especially when you get a “yes” means you’re gonna get what you don’t want. Even though it’s not the other person’s fault, you might find yourself resentful at some subconscious level for not getting what you want. Do you really want to put someone you love through that? ‘Course not!

I chose to ask for what I think will get a “yes”

The flaw in this is that you’re not clearly communicating. It’s also rather subtle form of lying, because you’re not actually saying what it is you do want and are manipulating a bit.

This can come from several emotional places, but one of the more common ones is a fear of rejection. Are you afraid of rejection? If so, welcome to the club. Hell of a thing in a writer, innit? Remember that in a good relationship not all “no”s are dealbreakers. As Wayne Dyer once commented, “If you can say no in a relationship, you do not have to say no to the relationship. ”

I ask for what I want

If you do this, you’re giving the other person you’re dealing with the appropriate information. If you’re dealing with a romantic partner, you’re on the same side, right? You want your partner to have her needs fulfilled. Your partner feels the same way. If this is not the case, then you’ve got issues outside the scope of this particular article, but I assure you that asking for what you want is still the best way to go. It’s unlikely you really want relationships where none of your needs are being met, after all!

Now, have I ever been guilty of options A or B in my relationships? Oh, sweet baby Jesus, yes! To say that it did not work for me is a dramatic understatement. Part of it was an uberwant that was unvoiced, and therefore unfulfilled. I wanted some peace and quiet with a strong adjective in front of it! If you’re wanting something with a heavy emotive force, it’s something worthwhile to pay attention to, and <gasp> maybe even ask for.

Most of this advice is working from the presumption that yes, you’ve a loving relationship here. When there isn’t an emotional investment in everyone having their needs and a lot of wants met, you’re going to find that this method is going to mercilessly expose some unpleasant stuff.

Me? I think that’s good in the long run. Inauthentic relationships aren’t worth having, they’re really not. “Alone” is an order of magnitude better than “bad relationship”! Keep that in mind when you’re asking for what you want, because the only way to get good relationships is to be real about what you do want.

4 thoughts on “I Shouldn’t Want That!

  1. Jim

    What I want. Never settle for less unless it is truly out of reach.

    I want lots of things, but don’t seem to get them. Wanna help?

    Reply
  2. learningmyself

    ouch, i chose what i think i can get that is closest to what i want.
    *sigh* i’m working on it. i wish i could just change overnight sometimes.

    Reply
  3. Amethest

    “Chose what I think I can get closest to what I want”

    I think this is a hold-over from childhood. My parents decided I should be a lawyer because I’m so good at negotiating.

    Thing is, I’ve gotten so used to knowing how much I’m likely to get, that I completely skip over trying to ask for whatever is the ideal ammount, item, or fulfillment of need.

    I mostly know what I want; I’m trying to figure out how to clearly ask for it, without couching the important stuff in a whole lot of, “Well, that’s of course only if you want to give it/do that with me, I mean we could just watch TV instead if you’re more OK with that…” type of rambling.

    Reply

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