Knowing how to ask for what you want can be separated into 4 categories: People, Place, Time, Words
Ask yourself, “What people have I invited into my inner circle because they have shown me (by their behavior) that I am valued and safe?” If you TRUST them (you feel respected and believe in their integrity), then you can consider if they are someone with whom you want to build a deeper relationship. Sharing ‘what you want’ with them has the potential to grow your relationship.
Once you’ve determined who you want to share with, you can consider an ideal location. This needs to be free from extra distractions (like kids in-and-out and sports on the TV) and full of options for comfort that would put you both at ease (like refreshments and pleasant seating). It can happen most anywhere, on which you both agree.
The time focuses on when and how long you share. Picking a mutually agreeable time (usually not first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening) and committing to a limited amount of time (maybe 30 minutes max) will make the process easier. As you build on these kinds of experiences you can say more in less time and almost spontaneously go to a deeper level of communication.
“I” statements are the least threatening way to reflect on your concerns. This relieves the other person of feeling judged or blamed. If you have an idea about a common issue, you could use phrases like, “I’m puzzled when you ________” or “I have a concern about _____and a request to change it to____”. Concentrate on your perspective, because the goal is to bring understanding.
Assertiveness will grow with you as you put it into practice more and more. As long as the goal is bringing your whole self to the situation (and not being bossy or sassy) then it’s actually very respectful and freeing for the both of you.
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