This post is inspired by Valentine’s Day but can apply to anyone in any situation so don’t skip past this if you are not in a romantic relationship 🙂 So often we are left disappointed by others. We hope they will notice what we like or want and when they don’t fulfill our expectation we are hurt or angry. We wonder why they don’t know us well enough to know what we want. The truth is, unless you specifically state what you want, the other person must guess. It’s up to you to speak your expectations clearly and be sure the hearer understands you.
Often I get objections to this. Like, “If I have to ask for what I want then it doesn’t feel as good when I get it.” Back to reality: if you don’t say it, you can’t expect to get it. I’m not sure where the idea that partners should be able to read our minds came from. It’s a common yet destructive belief.
What happens when you’re told directly and then the person reveals that’s not what they meant? I remember a line from The Breakup with Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn where she says he never gets her flowers. He tells her she told him that flowers were a waste of money and her response was, “Every girl wants flowers!” How was he supposed to know that? He listened to her request but she was not being honest. So who’s at fault here? She is. She did not speak what she really wanted but expected him to read her mind.
How are you doing in this category? Do you expect people to read your mind? Are you being honest about your wants and desires? If not, it’s up to you to speak honestly and directly. This doesn’t mean you will always get what you want but at least you will have made your expectations clear.