It’s okay to ask for what you need and want
It is okay to ask for what you need and want! Many people know this from the start, many people take it too far, and some of us don’t honor our needs or wants at all. From the time I was a child, I was shown and told that my needs and wishes did not matter. Everything was about my parents’ needs. So, I learned to shrink into the background and meet everyone else’s needs…while ignoring my own. I would fear doing anything that was the least bit inconsiderate of others, (or in my very humble mind, even seemed inconsiderate.) For example, if I needed to use the restroom during class, or at a movie, or somewhere in public, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t ask, and I wouldn’t disturb others no matter how badly I needed to go. I thought it would be rude. In my college dorm room, I listened to my radio very quietly so I wouldn’t bother anyone. I was always hyper-conscious of not bothering others or asking others for anything. With my first spouse, I gave him the big closet in our bedroom and I used the little one in the spare bedroom. I also gave him the big bathroom so I could use the little one. I always put myself last. In relationships, I would give, give, give, but feel guilty or selfish about asking for what I needed–or even equal treatment. But the reality is, it is NOT wrong to ask for what you need or want. Of course, you can’t force the person you are asking to give you what you need or want, but there is nothing wrong with expressing your needs.
Now I’m not saying we should run around demanding luxuries. I’m saying we shouldn’t feel guilty about taking care of ourselves, or even wanting fair treatment. Getting your needs met or even some of your wants is not spoiling yourself. It’s honoring yourself. I used to feel guilty for “splurging” on medical care when I had credit card bills to pay. How backwards! I should have put my health and my body ahead of being a good consumer!
When I first got divorced, I decided to treat myself like I mattered. No more putting myself last. I bought some nice perfume, got a new haircut, and started taking lots of relaxing bubble baths to de-stress and feel good about myself. Crazy how it took me 30 years to realize I was allowed to do that–that I didn’t have to hide in a corner and disappear while others met their needs and desires. These days, I feel less shy about stating what I need and taking care of myself. What an important lesson to learn!