How To Choose The Best Timing For Expressing Your Needs
One of my deepest wounds is feeling that my needs aren’t as important as others.
This wound comes up in all sorts of different ways in my life, but something that this wound would have me doing regularly would be to forcefully share and express my needs the moment that I realized them without much of a filter.
I felt that if I didn’t share my needs immediately it meant I was in my old pattern of putting myself last and telling myself that someone else’s needs were more important than my own.
It was my way of standing up and saying “I’m just as important as you are!”
Doing this would temporarily calm my nervous system, but would often be met with conflict or arguments from the person I was expressing my needs to because I was often expressing my needs with force and at some very inopportune times.
(I can’t imagine why unloading on my husband immediately when he walked in through the door after he had a long, terrible day at work was a bad idea, lol)
To the wounded part of me that needs to forcefully assert that her needs are just as important:
I see you. I honor you.
I’m here with you and I’m not going anywhere.
Your needs aren’t wrong.
Your needs are so valid.
Your needs are just as important as everyone else’s.
And, having given this validation to myself, in a state of deep trust of my own worthiness, I can understand that how and when I communicate my needs can also be an important part of allowing them to be met.
Discerning the circumstances, respecting and honoring the state of the other person, and not needing immediate validation of your needs from another because you already know and trust that they are valid allows you to choose when and how you bring your needs forward.
Bringing your needs forward in this way allows you the best opportunity to allow them to be met and allows you to maintain harmony in your relationship(s).
When my husband is exhausted and has had a terrible day, instead of unloading my needs on him with force, from a grounded place of trusting the worthiness of my needs, I can honor them by choosing to bring them up at a time and way they can be fully received.
To illustrate this point further, I want to give you another personal example that arose just today (irony of ironies):
My husband did something that made me upset. I was being interviewed for a podcast in 30 minutes time that I wanted to be grounded and clear for.
I knew that if I said something in that moment I was going to get myself all worked up, not be able to express my anger in a grounded, centered way (i.e. I would blame and project onto him), and it wouldn’t be a productive conversation or achieve my overall goals.
Knowing all these things, I made the choice not to bring anything up in the moment, understanding that my needs and emotions are valid, and yet, now wasn’t the best time to bring them up.
In fact, bringing them up another time was more honoring to myself, to my husband, and to my needs because I did it at a time where I could express them in a centered, grounded way and when my husband was in a state that he could fully receive what I was saying.
Things To Consider When Expressing Your Needs:
- Have you validated your needs to yourself, first?
Take some time with yourself if possible to validate your needs. With a hand on your heart, you can tell yourself that it makes so much sense that this need is arising for you, and that is such a normal, natural part of being human. To be human is to need.
Offer yourself compassion and love.
- Ground and Center yourself
Allow whatever emotions are arising in you to run through you without hindering yourself. No emotions are “wrong” or “bad”, they just need to be able to run through you and be expressed in a healthy way (this means not taking them out on another person!)
You can punch a pillow in private, go for a walk, move your body to music that matches your emotion, journal, or whatever allows the emotion to flow through you.
- Consider your overall goals of expressing your needs
What would be your goal for expressing your needs?
Is it to “let off steam” in the moment? To prove something? To argue your way? To be right?
Or do you have a goal of connecting with the other person, understanding each other more deeply, and honoring each other?
Keeping in mind your goal for expressing your needs, what state do you need to be in to reach your overall goal? What tone do you want to use? How do you want to show up? What do you want to express?
- Would my needs be able to be received now?
Before you express your needs once you have grounded and centered yourself, ask yourself (while considering both yourself and the other person involved) if now would be a good time for your needs to be received.
Are you grounded, centered, and able to express your needs without blame or projection?
Is the other person emotionally available right now? Do they have the time to talk right now? Are they in a state to be able to receive what you have to say?
When we are used to our needs not being met, we can actually unconsciously perpetuate and choose times to voice our needs to keep us in the familiar loop of them not being met.
What’s your experience like with expressing your needs at a time that doesn’t allow them to be met?
I’d love to hear, and I’m always happy to give you some tangible, customized action tips. Comment below and let me know!
So much love to you,