Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Asking For What You Want Is Not Needy

Most of us happily do favours for others, while often struggling to ask for what we want. Out of fear of being seen as selfish, we like to put the needs of others first. That way nobody will see us as a nag.

But we weren’t always this afraid.

A 14-month-old baby can suck on her mother’s breast for half an hour, stumble off to play with her blocks and come back minutes later for seconds. A 3-year-old won’t hesitate to tell his dad to hop off the couch and him give lengthy instructions on how to properly push his Tonka truck across the floor.

Unless taught not to, babies and toddlers have no trouble asking for what they want. Of course they don’t, they have no concept of neediness and rejection because they’re still learning about colours and eating crayons.

Colourful diets aside, not asking for what you want is almost as dangerous for you now as when you were rocking diapers. 

If you don’t ask, you will slowly feel unappreciated for all the hard work you put into helping others, resentful towards everyone who doesn’t return the favour, and alone when no one ever seems to get you.

All because you didn’t have the stones to speak up.

If done right, asking is not needy or undignified. It’s simply self-care. And there’s a bonus, if you’re comfortable serving your own needs, you’ll be able to give to others without expecting anything in return and without feeling resentful.

It’s your job to take care of yourself. Nobody else’s.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach