There is this fear (and I know it well), that if you express what you need, especially when a need involves another party, that the need will go ignored and unmet. You might fear that it will be ridiculed or criticised or superseded by yet another thing or person of ‘greater value’. It can be tempting, especially when you’ve grown up or been around people who shut down your needs or ignore, invalidate them, or claim that theirs are of greater significance, to ‘just’ put your needs on the back burner.
What’s the point?, you might wonder.
Why would you expose you to further disappointment and rejection? You might feel that the pain of putting your needs out there and them not being met is far greater than not doing so. But is that true, especially when you consider that needs that are closed off from others get closed off from you too? It’s not as if you’re going to voice those needs to you and take care of them because that would open you up to recognising those said needs and being vulnerable enough to ask for what you need whether that’s directly asking for it or making the decisions and the supporting choices that would make having those needs met possible.
How can you and others begin to meet needs that you are stifling and even invalidating?
Each time you deny, rationalise, minimise and even excuse what you or others are doing to you that cuts you off from your needs, you’re defending against the case for you being a worthwhile and valuable person with needs. You’re living your life in a way that keeps reinforcing and validating the original reasoning used to reach the conclusion that you ‘shouldn’t’ give voice to your needs. It’s as if you don’t matter, but of course you do.