Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

SOURCE:  Taken from an article by Leslie Vernick

Many misunderstandings and conflicts arise because we never tell someone how we truly feel or ask for what we want.  We assume the other person knows or should know those things without us having to say them. But trust me, they don’t.

Women are taught to communicate indirectly and, most of the time, people in our lives–especially men–don’t get it. For example, when taking a long trip, I used to say to my husband, “Are you hungry yet?” What I really meant by that question is “I’m hungry. Let’s find a place to eat.” But that felt too bold, too direct and too selfish, so instead I asked him if he was hungry. Unfortunately, he often answered, “Nope, not yet.” And then I sat and starved, waiting until he decided he was hungry enough to stop.

When I wanted to enlist his help on the weekend, I said, “What are you doing this weekend?” He always had plenty he wanted to do, so then I wouldn’t ask him to help me. Now I’ve learned to say, “There is a lot of yard work that needs to be done; I’d like you to be available to help on Saturday.” There are times when he says, “That’s fine” and other times when he says, “I can’t. I planned something else.” But at least I’ve asked and he’s responded. That’s a good starting place to begin negotiation and/or compromise.

Another problem I see when I encourage women to be more direct in asking for what they want, is that they feel it’s selfish to ask.  Asking directly for what we want or need is not being selfish; it’s being honest.

The Bible tells us that we are to “look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). It never says we are not to look out for our own interests. Asking for what you want or desire, or expressing how you feel, is not selfish. Demanding that everyone always give you what you want is selfish. No one always gets everything he or she wants, but it is not selfish to have legitimate desires or want something God says is good for us to want.  We are, however, also to be considerate and thoughtful in regard to what someone else wants. That allows loving communication and compromise to occur.

If you never ask for what you want or never share how you feel, but find yourself resenting not getting what you want or growing tired of being in a lopsided relationship, then you must start to take responsibility for your own passivity. When we start to make a change and speak up, a conflict may occur because what we want is not what someone else wants.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: