Making Requests of Others
(Time to read: ~2 minutes)
I noticed that in two situations over the past week I initially felt quite angry and, even after processing the anger, ended up wanting to make requests of the other person.
My Usual Experience
I felt nervous when I noticed this. Because I know I am most likely to make requests of others when I have not fully processed the situation that triggered anger in me – when I have not fully taken responsibility for meeting my own needs in the situation.
Usually, when I’ve fully processed a situation, I either have
- No requests of the other person, or
- I have one or more requests to myself and a “backup” support request to the other person to “fill in” the places I don’t yet know how to meet on my own – and I’m confident if the other person says “no thank you” that I can find other “backup” strategies to fully meet my needs.
The Difference Here
But in these two cases, I had no request of myself other than to ask for help. And I could not imagine any other ways I could meet my needs if the other person said “no thank you”.
Warning red lights were flashing in my brain! What was happening here? Why were these situations so different?
I realized in both cases that they were initiated by the other person asking for something from me.
I also realized that I was happy for the people involved to be making the choices they were making to meet their needs. But if they wanted certain types of support from me, I first needed some support from them.
If they said “no thank you” to my request for support, that was fine. My response to their requests would remain peacefully at “no thank you”.
In other words, I didn’t need them to say “yes” to my request in order to experience peace in my life. That realization gave me peace and confidence that I was living NVC in those two situations.
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