Day Fifteen Challenge – WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID TO ASK FOR? WHAT DO YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP ABOUT?
I have great difficulty vocalizing my wants and needs in general. For example when asked to do overtime (If you’re a nurse this happens almost daily) I always used to say, “Yes” however I didn’t set limits. I am trying to change that pattern. I was asked to work this Saturday which I did and then I was asked to work Sunday. I refused to work Sunday sure the money is nice but taking care of myself is nicer. I had groceries to get, help my son with homework, I had a lunch date with friends. I had things to do which to some may be trivial but I realize now (after not setting limits for so long) I have a life and my life is important.
In romantic relationships I have always been afraid to ask for what I want and what I need. Primarily I believe my inability to voice my wants and needs stemmed from my lack of self-esteem. When asked where do I want to go for dinner or what movie do I want to see. I would respond “it doesn’t matter whatever you’d like”. I’m a pretty laid back person and it’s true I realize that spending time with the one you care about is truly all that matters. However I do have likes and dislikes, preferences and aversions, and these do matter because I matter.
If a behaviour or something someone says bothers me, I simply obsess over it in my mind. I think of all the scenarios all the possibilities of what it could mean. Which in itself is not a good practice. When an act or words bother me, make me feel uncomfortable or if I don’t understand the meaning of what someone is saying I need speak up about it. My feelings and interpretations matter. I matter.
Throughout this challenge I have come to the conclusion that I am my biggest advocate. The behaviour I allow that I tolerate whether is may be disrespectful or not is dependent on me. I have the power to set limits. I have the power to speak up if something bothers me or makes me uncomfortable.
Accepting myself for all my flaws and qualities is one step in self-love. The second step is to speak up for myself and set limits no matter the situation. Being fearful of rejection or non-acceptance by others doesn’t allow for self-love. For example if you set limits and someone becomes angry with you for setting those limits they were obviously taking advantage of you and disrespecting you. If someone says something hurtful and you speak up for your feelings, you are letting the other individual know “I matter”.
“Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life” – Miguel Angel Ruiz
artwork credit – “Marquise de Miramon” and “Tea Time” by James