How to Get What You Want
Do you have unmet needs, wants, and/or desires? This episode of From Good Girl to Grown Ass Woman has your name written all over it. I outline the ineffective strategies many of us are using to try and get our needs met, as well as methods and practices that actually work. Why? Because you are worthy of having your needs met, your wants satiated, and your desires fulfilled. Listen in, and let me know your biggest takeaways.
For context, today I use the words “want” and “need” and “desire” interchangeably. While there may be some differences worth distinguishing at another time, for now, let’s assume these words all refer to something physically, emotionally, or otherwise pleasing and valuable to you that you would like to have. My belief is that you are worthy of having your needs met, your wants satiated, and your desires fulfilled.
I’d like to share a couple of examples to illustrate communication of a need gone off the rails.
When I was in coach training, I had a fairly innocuous request of the leadership team. How I brought this request was so emotional, I was crying, could barely get the words out, and was if I was trying to fight the powers that be, while in reality, there was no fight to be had. I remember the leaders in the room looked at each other with these confused expressions on their faces, like- “what just happened?” It was pointed out to me that I brought this request assuming the response would be “no.” Assuming there was a closed door, versus any number of alternatives, like making a simple ask, or creating a win/win or possibility. I was invited to take a break and try my ask again later, and the same thing. I felt I had to convince someone or prove something, whereas all that was based on stories of “I can’t have what I want. Or I have to fight for what I want.”
Here’s another example.
A colleague brought something to a group call recently that was a complaint heavily draped in blame and I’m right/you’re wrong, complete with accusatory language and all. This person had been holding on to a want for months, that had been mentioned to no one, and so on their end, resentment had been building, grudges had been accumulating, stories about the other people involved were being invented. All the while, the others involved literally had no idea. So by the time the complaint was presented, there was a lot of energy behind it. On the receiving end of this long-held complaint was the experience of defensiveness, confusion, and feeling shamed. After some digging, a desire was identified, and from clarifying that desire, this person was able to make a request of others. While this person did ultimately get their needs met, it was preceded by so much unnecessary suffering for everyone involved.
My assertion is that beneath every complaint is a desire. And from desire, there is opportunity for a request. Sometimes, that’s a request of yourself. Sometimes, that’s a request of someone else.
Here’s the truth about making requests: they may or may not be met. Now, if they’re chronically unmet, everywhere, all the time, there may be something to look at in terms of how you’re bringing the request. We have to decide that receiving either a yes or a no is totally okay. Other people are not actually obligated to acquiesce to your requests, or meet your needs. Because ultimately, your needs are your responsibility- AND – you do not have to do it all on your own.
A distinction I teach my relationship coaching clients, is that when we don’t ask for what we want- from a partner, a team member at work, a family member – the answer is almost certainly “no.”
So the practice for us to engage in is to build up our muscle of asking for what we want, and receiving yeses AND no’s, and not making it mean anything about you, either way. Get to neutral about it. Your worth does not go up or down based on someone else’s response.
What are your key takeaways? Is there anything I can support you with? Send me a message and let me know!