How You Might Be Blocking Your Own Needs!
By: Kathy
March 2, 2015

Do you ever become aware of a need and then immediately feel guilty?  Or maybe you have a need but feel guilty asking for it to be met? Perhaps you hesitate asking for your  need to be met because you will then feel like you owe the person something?

guilty needsThe guilt and shame that is associated with our needs is a link that usually begins in childhood where we unintentionally get the message that our needs caused someone else pain or discomfort.  Think about the reactions your parents and caregivers had to your needs, wants, and desires, for example.
Their reactions HAD to have shaped how you feel about your own needs!

Let’s say you wanted to join an activity at school.  That meant that your caregivers might have to adjust their schedule with work, they might have to coordinate getting you to and from the activity.  There might even have been an expense involved that caused your parents to  stress about finances. The reactions to your needs that you saw in your parents could easily leave you feeling like you shouldn’t have needs!

Worse, your parents might have shamed you for wanting something, or mocked you or made fun of you for expressing a need or desire.  You might even have been blamed for putting extra burden on the family.  Worse yet, you might have gotten your need met only to have it thrown in your face later (“We just spent $150 on your books, and now you want X?”).  This would leave a person wary of asking for their needs to be met because they are always anticipating the “cost”.

wants-vs.-needs1When we bring these beliefs into our adult lives, it makes getting our needs met very difficult.  So what most of us do is hand this burdensome problem over to our spouse on the altar.  “Here you go, honey!  A) I don’t know what my needs are or how to get them met.  Furthermore, B) I find myself unable to ask for my needs to be met (which is especially hard, given A above), and C) If you do give me what I need, I’m going to have a hard time receiving it! But I’m handing this job over to you with the expectation that you’ll meet my needs for me!”  Then we spend the next number of years howling at our spouse because they aren’t doing a very good job of meeting our needs!  Logically it sounds ridiculous, but in reality, it happens all the time.

dailylovecSo, how do we fix this conundrum?  First, we have to get in touch with our own needs.  Yes.  It is your job to know what you need.  Don’t make your spouse guess about something that you don’t even know yourself! 
, you have to be convinced that your needs and desires are normal and healthy.  You can’t feel a sense of entitlement to something that you think you shouldn’t have!  I encourage people to run it through the best friend filter – if your best friend said they wanted –X-, would you think it was reasonable for them to want that?  If so, then it is reasonable.  Thirdly, you have to deal with your guilt.  Giving to our partners in marriage is a normal, healthy part of a relationship.  In fact, most of us want to feel needed.  So if you don’t ask for your needs to be met, you are robbing your partner of being able to fulfill their need to love on you.  And finally, you will have to learn how to let down your walls down and receive love and that is going to be uncomfortable!

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