Let’s face it. Most of us didn’t have a lot of great role models of people who persistently and graciously get their personal needs met. What we did have is models of people who got their needs met in ways that were perceived as pushy, whiny, or shrill. Selfish. We hear others talking about these people and we think “oh, well, no one is going to be saying that about me.”
From an early age many of us learn to dismiss our needs, afraid we will appear selfish, or rude, uncooperative, not in the team spirit. We often view our habit of dismissing needs as a useful or even healthy one; we’ve gotten this far after all. However dismissing needs gets you only so far and no farther.
In order to function at the kind of level you demand of yourself without burning out, you will simply have to give yourself permission to get your needs met- to be selfish – but in a way that won’t alienate your friends or diminish your influence. The paradox you will discover is that as you understand yourself, others will find it easier to understand you. They will help you more often than not. Linda Berens, (http://www.16types.com/Request.jsp?hView=ContextHome) an expert on Psychological Types and the way personality differences affects relationships has this say about needs: “The Needs represent…the driving force. Individuals unconsciously and consciously seek every avenue to get the Needs met. When these Needs are met the individual is energized and light of spirit. When these Needs are not met, the individual is drained of energy and suffers dissatisfaction or stress.”
Drained of energy? Dissatisfied in some unidentifiable way? Sound familiar?
So just for now think about what thoughts (the Greek Chorus of judgment in your own head) gets in the way of your getting your needs met. Examples include:
|1. I was raised not to ask for help|
|2. I don’t deserve to get my need met|
|3. My need is too expensive|
|4. I want to believe that I am “cool”|
|5. I wouldn’t want to spoil myself – I might get too “soft”|
|6. I don’t want to be like (__someone you don’t respect)____|
|7. My need is inconvenient|
|8. My need does not fit with how I want others to see me|
|9. I am terrified that _(someone I do respect)___ will judge me selfish|
|10. I have no idea how to get my need met without attracting negative attention to myself
Next week: The Needs Identification Process.