Losing Our Needs
I’d say that 99.99% of all arguments are based on unmet needs. Yes, even the ones about chewing too loud or forgetting to take out the garbage can be narrowed down to some attachment need not being met in the relationship.
And I realize that may sound like an intense overgeneralization, but if you really slow down to think about it, it’s sort of true. Whether it’s our need for safety, belonging, acceptance or unconditional love, it all comes back to an attachment need.
And yet one of the hardest things in love is actually learning how to communicate our needs. We’re honestly really crappy about it. And it’s understandable, because communicating our needs is really, really vulnerable. And most of us don’t do vulnerability well.
It’s almost like you’re communicating your needs so loudly, so critically and so internally that they get lost all together. And not only is it unfair to expect your partner to “read” those messages accurately, YOU even begin to get confused about what it is you need.
So how do you right the ship, even if you think you’re pretty good at communicating your needs?
First, you have to go deeper than just your latest annoyance or complaint. You need to be willing to look below the surface of what you’re saying is the issue and get curious about what could be a layer or two below.
Next, you have to practice getting comfortable speaking from a more vulnerable place and also connecting it to your behavior.
For example, if you realize that your deeper need is to feel accepted and it always comes out as being overly critical of your partner, than you need to get comfortable verbalizing how the deeper need of acceptance is unintentionally communicated through lashing out and being critical. And yes my friends, this is really tough. It takes practice but is such a necessary part of shifting the tides to really saying what you need.
And finally you have to be patient. As you start to speak from a place of greater vulnerability, you need to ensure that it’s safe to do so. You start by dipping your toe in the water of authenticity and learn to manage the discomfort that comes by really saying what you need.
And don’t worry if you feel stuck or unsure on how to do this. The first step really is realizing that it exists. Once you’re there, reach out for support. That’s what we’re here for, 916.955.3200 or follow this link to set up a phone chat, www.LifeUnscriptedCounseling.com